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Hej Everyone, it’s Carly.

March is an interesting month for me; I have spring break, which means I can research Nordic history and culture all week long. It is also my birthday on March 26 (I’m turning 14), and there is a holiday everyone is familiar with.

St Patrick’s Day.

Now, I will talk about the “Finnish” Version of this holiday, St Urho’s Day, What it is, the history behind it, and how YOU (yes, YOU) can celebrate St Urho’s Day at home or school.

So what exactly is this holiday?

St. Urho’s Day is on March 16, and it is celebrated by Finnish-American communities across the Northern areas of the Midwest. (I will explain why).

St. Urho

The reason behind the oddly specific location is due to the fact that most Finns settled in Northern areas of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, which isn’t that big of a surprise since most Scandinavians did settle in the same states, just in the central areas.

I had talked about this for a brief moment in this post. 

The legend was created in 1956 by a Finnish-American guy named Richard Mattson.

Apparently, this Richard guy found out that there wasn’t a holiday he could do for Finnish Americans because, as I said before in the article on Finnish, Finnish culture is complex. Thus, it could be hard to preserve or educate kids.

So, he created the legend of St Urho. I couldn’t find when the first St Urho holiday was, but I will get that to the end.

The Legend of St Urho

The legend of St Urho is interesting. It all started in Finland. According to the legend, there was a plague caused by some small animals (some versions say it was from frogs, others say it’s from grasshoppers, most people agree with the latter) that was destroying Finnish crops.

selective focus photography of green insect

So then, St Urho was able to chase away the grasshoppers or frogs or whatever, and he saved the Finns. Yay!

 Traditionally, the legend was a poem written in Finnglish. Then, it was adapted with an English version, and to this day, I am concerned about why I can’t find the poem in Finnish.

Now, the celebrations are interesting. In 1999, A Finnish settlement in Michigan named Kalevala made a statue of a grasshopper made out of metal (In case you are wondering, there is a St Urho Statue in Minnesota.)

For those who are wondering, No, it isn’t celebrated in Finland itself. However, High schools and universities sometimes make a theatrical play every year.

How can you celebrate?

The simplest way you can celebrate is by wearing green and purple. Just go to your closet and get anything green and purple.

Now, this isn’t an official way to celebrate but clean your gardens. I know it sounds like a chore, but you don’t want grasshoppers or frogs or whatever to come to your garden, and you have to be the next St Urho.

Now, if you do live near a Finnish-American community, there may be some celebrations in local heritage centers.

Other than that, I don’t really know because I do not live near a Finnish-American community, and I may leave this to my friend IngaTheFinnishAmerican on Kidztalk.

Well, I apologize if my writing is crusty. My school is horrible because they blocked a lot of research sites, which is horrible for my school. 

Ha det.

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