Tag Archives: Holidays

Finnish holidays

Each country has its own holidays, as well as Finland. Around the year Finns spend a variety of celebrations, some are known around the world, but some are Finns own story. Like everyone probably knows, Finland is located in north where the sun does not rise at all during the winter. Umh, and the winter lasts almost nine months in Finland… or at least the dark and cold time.

Fortunately, Finns have these holidays that cheer up in the middle of darkness and coldness. Okay, luckily we have also a three-month summer when the sun does not drop even at the night.

New Year’s Day

The very first holiday at the year is New Year’s Day. (First of January) The day, when everyone is tired of yesterdays celebrating and fireworks shooting. It’s also a day, when New Year’s promises keeping starts. Someones promises to save money, someones promises to start a diet. And very traditional Finn New Year’s promise is ”tipaton tammikuu”, it means that no alcohol in January. Good start for a good year!

Kuvahaun tulos haulle new year promise

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day celebrating hasn’t been very common in Finland expect for the last few years. But Valentine’s Day has become more commercial day, because Valentine’s Day gifts are bought every year more and more. In Finland, a day is usually celebrated with our friends or partner at the movies or eating. Sending Valentine’s Day cards is also common.

 

 

Kuvahaun tulos haulle valentine's day

 

 

EasterKuvahaun tulos haulle virpojatEaster is a quite big holiday in Finland in spring. Finns are not very religious nation, so celebrating is more for children. Traditional Finn Easter manner is wish another person health and happiness on Palm Sunday by tapping them lightly with a willow twig and chanting a rhyme. It’s usually done by children in quest for candy. A willow twig is decorated with colorful feathers and children are also dressed like witches or Easter bunnies. Traditional Easter food is lamb and Finnish Easter pudding, which is made of rye.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle pääsiäisruoka

 

First of MayKuvahaun tulos haulle vappuFirst of May is common westerner holiday and in Finland carnerval for a workpeople and students. Usually celebrating happens in the cities downtown and everyone is wearing their graduation caps. Traditional drinks are mead, sparkling wines and shampagne. Funnel cake is also very own Finnish thing. Families with children are usually celebrating a day in carnivals and circus where balloons is a big thing.Kuvahaun tulos haulle vappu toriKuvahaun tulos haulle tippaleipä

Midsummer

Midsummer means fest of light and midsummer. Then sun doesn’t drop at all in Northern Finland. Midsummer sauna with bath whisk made of birch, bonfire and midsummer dances are very traditional manner in Finland. Almost everybody is celebrating it at their own summerhouse with family or friends. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol is always been part of Finns celebrating. Midsummer fest have also very old magic tricks and belifies. If you roll on grainfield at the morning dew, you can see in your dreams your future husband. It is also believed that drinking alcohol drives out evil spirits, and the harvest will be the better the more you drink.Kuvahaun tulos haulle juhannusHalloween

Celebrating Halloween hasn’t been very common in Finland, expect the last few years. It’s been more like remembering departed people. The most important symbol is grinning pumpkin. Departed people, ghosts, vampires, witches and black cats are also favourite symbols. Children usually wear ghost or other costumes and go door to door asking trick or treat.Kuvahaun tulos haulle karkki vai kepponenIndependent Day

Finland’s Independence Day is very important and big day for all Finns. Finland celebrates it’s 100th anniversary on 2017. Independence is still important to the Finns and touches us because we lost more than 60 000 soldiers, most of them was young men aged 20.Kuvahaun tulos haulle itsenäisyyspäiväTraditional Independence Day program include watching movie ”Tuntematon Sotilas” (”The Unknown Soldier”), that tells of the Finnish war against the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945.

In the evening, the Presidential Independence Day reception is shown on the TV. There is invited almost 2000 guest in every year. Usually people admire the guests gowns and always vote for the ”Castle Balls” queen and king.Kuvahaun tulos haulle linnan juhlat

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve and Day and Boxing Day

Kuvahaun tulos haulle suomalainen joulu

Christmas is the most biggest holiday in Finland. There is so much tradition manners and foods. On Christmas Eve usually families gather together and eat Christmas food. Christmas table’s king is absolutely ham! Also rosolli salad, rutabaga casserole, potato casserole, carrot casserole and salmon is very common. In the evening Santa Claus from Korvatunturi will visit and share gifts for children. Christmas carols, cards, costumes, get together and visiting in cemetery are traditional manners in Finland.Kuvahaun tulos haulle suomalainen joulupöytä

 

 

New Years Eve

Kuvahaun tulos haulle fireworks helsinki

New Year’s Eve is a last day in a whole year. A day when Finns celebrate spended year. Shooting fireworks and pouring of tin in to water is traditional manner in Finland. Melted tin sets fast and the shape of tin tells you a lot of what is coming on next year. Maybe it’s a coin which means a lot of money or maybe it’s a heart and you will find a love. No one knows…

Kuvahaun tulos haulle tinan valaminen

 

My thoughts about Finnishness

Finnishness is something that I’m proud of. Finns are often seen as a silent and even rude people but underneath there is a loving and polite nation. I like learning about the other cultures and travelling to see the breathtakingly beautiful places around the world but what I really love is coming home.

It is hard to tell people abroad what is Finnishness. You have to travel to Finland to see and feel it yourself. But there is something I can tell you about us and Finland.

Nature and climate

When I think Finland, the first thing that pop up to my mind is nature. Obviously. Nature here is just so beautiful. Finns like to go out and enjoy the nature. In summer we swim in thousands of our lakes and pick berries and in winter time we ski to ice fishing.

Finland is a country that should be seen around a year. Seasons stand out here in an extraordinary way. The temperature varies from the summer + 35 degrees celsius to winter – 40 degrees. Myself I love Finnish summer but unfortunately it’s quite short if you compare it to the cold and dark winter. So if you travel to Finland, make sure you have enough clothes with you but pack also pair of shorts in case of warm days. And don’t forget to take an umbrella, there is about 200 rainy days per a year!

Kuvat marian koneelta 538Kuvat marian koneelta 010

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food

What comes to food, Finns are extremely practical. On weekdays we like to cook a huge amount of food and eat it fast after work. If you want to cook for a Finn for example a macaroni casserole is often a good idea. Except if your  dinner date is a vegetarian which is quite common nowadays in Finland also.

But of course we can enjoy too. If you want to taste some Finnish goodies, I would recommend to try chocolate and especially Fazer Milk Chocolate. Another very traditional delicious dessert is a blueberry pie. What could be more Finnish than dress up a wind suit, go to a forest pick some berries and bake a pie (and of course go to sauna after eating).

fazermustikkapiirakka

 

Holidays

Finnish loves holidays. Particularly Christmas and Midsummer have a special place in our hearts.  In every year we want to eat a Christmas ham and see the white snow  covering the ground. Unfortunately, we often get just the first one and the snow comes in January. In Midsummer you can see how the cities settle down while people pack their goods and travel to their summer cottages to celebrate the midnight sun. Traditionally people gather to watch a Midsummer bonfire.

joulukuusijuhannuskuva

Sauna

At the end, you can’t tell about Finland without telling about sauna. Okay to be honest, not even all Finns like to have a sauna but still that is one of the most tradtional thing in Finland. I advise even to try it. If possible, the best sauna experience is in a wood-headed sauna by the lake. But if that is not at hand, an electric sauna in an apartment building is also a good option. Just make sure that you share that experience with a Finn and have a good time!

sauna