For Momma - Memorial Slide Show (Turn Playlist Music off before watching)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Celebrate St. Urho's Day - March 16th

I devote most of my blogging to the research of my German ancestors, so I thought it was only right to mention that my husband is of Finish descent. His ancestry is very difficult to trace because of the custom in Finland to change their last name based on where they were living. For example my husbands family name is Kallio - which in Finish means rock cliff, however, if the family moved to a meadow their last name would be changed to Lehto - so you can see the difficulty.

So to honor my hubby and his heritage I wanted to share with you a Finish legend. Now you Irish have your St. Patrick but American Finlanders have St. Urho and he is celebrated on the day before St. Patrick's day. (Personally I think it's just an excuse to drink more beer - LOL.)

Apparently at one time there were wild grapes growing all over Finland and they know this because of the geologist who have studied the remains of bears. Many many years ago a young boy named Urho grew big strong by eating "feelia sour" (sour milk) and "kala mojakka" (fish soup). As swarms of grasshoppers swooped in and began devouring all the grapes Urho began stomping his feet, raising his pitch fork and yelling in a loud deep voice - "Heinäsirkka, heinsäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen" which means grasshopper, grasshopper go to hell. He chased all the grasshoppers out of Finland and saved the vineyards. He became a hero and was Sainted by the Finlanders on March 16th.

St. Urho's day has been celebrated every year since on March 16th. The Finish people dress in purple, to represent the grapes, and green to represent the vines. The celebration starts early in the morning and last well into the night. Men will run down the hills yelling, waving their arms and stomping their feet - the women usually will gather by the lake shore and chant "Heinäsirkka, heinsäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen." The celebration continues with polka dancing, drinking and eating "feelia sour" and "kala mojakka" (sounds yummy doesn't it? ugh).

The Legend as told by the Finn's: (written in Finish dialect)

Ode to Saint Urho

by Gene McCavic and Richard MattsonVirginia, Minnesota

Ooksi kooksi coolama vee Santia Urho is ta poy for me!
He sase out ta hoppers as pig as pirds.
Neffer peefor haff I hurd tose words!
He reely tolt tose pugs of kreen
Braffest Finn I effer seen
Some celebrate for St. Pat unt his snakes
Putt Urho poyka kot what it takes.
He kot tall and trong
from feelia sour Unt ate kala moyakka effery hour.
Tat's why tat kuy could sase toes peetles
What krew as thick as chack bine neetles.
So let's give a cheer in hower pest vay
On Sixteenth of March, St. Urho's Tay.

Visit me on the 16th and I'll tell you how the legend really began..........

1 comment:

  1. Great story Terri - I can't wait till the 16th to hear the rest of it!



Related Posts with Thumbnails