Happy Halloween from one of the Museum’s resident witches!
Pictured here is a witch puppet created for the internationally famed Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera. The opera operated from 1940 until 1971 in the Kungsholm, a Scandinavian restaurant located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. The puppet opera started as an idea by the restaurant’s owner, Fredrik Chramer, and his fond memories of puppet shows during his childhood in Denmark. This specific puppet would have made her debut as the evil witch in a production of “Hansel and Gretel.”
While witches are often meant to be a frightening sight, like the witch in “Hansel and Gretel”, witches take on a different role in Sweden. Instead of witches being icons of Halloween, Swedish children most often associate them with Easter. Children dressed as Easter witches go house-to-house to deliver treats and often receive treats in return. Beginning in the 1800s, the tradition was much more mischievous and involved playing tricks on one’s neighbors. Thankfully, it has transformed into a day of fun, costumes, and plenty of treats!
Accession # 2017.54.52