Monday, April 13, 2009

SUNNY BUNNY DAYS

I'm not from religious family and christian holidays for me equal Santa Claus and Easter bunnies. My husband in the other hand is catholic and so is his family, so they do say their graces before eating and celebrate holidays for their original reasons. This Easter seven of us just went to have casual brunch. 
ln Finland we have few funny Easter traditions that I also participated for the fun of it when I was a kid. In Finland the week before Easter Sunday, on a Palm Sunday, you may see quaint little characters walking around the streets. Children with painted faces and scarves or witch hats tied round their heads, go begging carrying broomsticks, coffee pots and bunches of decorated pussy willow twigs. They go from door to door in tradition of blessing people by whisking them with twigs. This is called virpominen. 
Well before Easter, children plant rye-grass seeds in little pots called Rairuoho. Green grass is a sure sign of spring, even if it only grows on the windowsill. In my house we used to put tiny chocolate eggs and little easter chicks among the grass. Nowadays I buy kitty grass for my kitties that looks just like rye-grass, but i think it's wheat grass. It also makes beautiful decorative object and I'm planning on starting to grow it myself.
The oldest traditional Finnish dish is mämmi, a dark brown porridge made of water and sweetened rye malt. It is baked in a slow oven in cardboard boxes made to look like birch bark baskets. Mämmi is normally served with cream and sugar. It's been few years since I last had it and I was never a huge fan, but now all of a sudden this year I have craving for it.
We got tons of tulips and daffodils growing in our yard, thanks to the previous owners that were avid gardeners. I don't have to buy any plants or flowers as long as we live here. I went and cut some from the yard to beautify the house for the holidays.
I haven't kept up any Finnish traditions since I moved here and I regret it. But it's not too late. I guess I'm just waiting to have kids in this house and that way I'd be more motivated sharing my culture and our unique traditions.

3 comments:

  1. Ok, I love those Finnish traditions - especially the little kids in costume!

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  2. does your friend train in the city? i've been looking for a new trainer.
    Does she recommend a well balanced diet? my old trainer tried getting me to cut out what seemed like everything -- not very realistic!

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  3. Yes, it's a cute sight on Palm Sunday mornings seeing those little witches walking around town.

    My trainer friend works in the NYV & Jersey City. For my diet she asked me to list all foods that I like and created the program based on that (I for example don't eat any red meat or seafood), so it's not too strict diet. Also my goal here is not to loose weight, but get strong and get some muscles, so she has added foods that promote that. Her webpage is www.rachel-fitness.fi The last link on the header is her contact info.

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