March 16, 2014

St. Urho's Day


Happy St. Urho's Day!
For those not in the know:
St. Urho's Day is celebrated on March 16th, the day prior to the better known feast of some minor saint from Ireland, who was alleged to have driven the snakes from that island.
The legend of St. Urho says he chased the grasshoppers out of ancient Finland, thus saving the grape crop and the jobs of Finnish vineyard workers.  He did this by uttering the phrase: "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen" (roughly translated: "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go to Hell!")


I photographed this grasshopper in September back before the Long Winter set in.

FYI:  The tongue-in-cheek legend of St. Urho originated right here in Northern Minnesota in the 1950s.   (Finland still has grasshoppers, and they aren't known for growing grapes.)
St. Urho's Day is widely celebrated across Finnish settled areas of MN.  I associate the day with community centers hosting pancake breakfasts, and wearing purple & green (traditional St. Urho's colors.)

In honor of St. Patrick and  St. Urho -  here's a photo of my shamrock in bloom on our kitchen window sill.. descending from the shamrock my great grandmother brought from Finland.

May Irish eyes be smiling
and Finnish hearts be light.

34 comments:

  1. Happy St. Patrick's day! I have never heard of the St. Urho's Day and the grasshopper story. Thanks for sharing. Love your shamrocks.. Enjoy your week ahead!

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  2. Happy St. Patrick's Day! And I love the St. Uhro legend. All in good fun!

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    1. Exactly, Dotti! I believe the Finnish communities saw what fun the Irish were having with St. Patrick's Day, and thought they better get in on some of the shenanigans, too!

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  3. I love that story and miss the parade in Menahga. Ok well I was there once a few years ago. I tend to think their are more Finnish descendents still on the Iron Range than Iris....:)

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    1. We have family in Menahga - home of the statue of St. Urho!

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  4. and a Happy St. Urho's day to you too.

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  5. i like his chant! could use that here in texas in about july and august of each year as the hoppers invade and eat everything green. :)

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  6. Lovely photography for the Holidays ~ love the grasshopper ~ xxx

    artmusedog and carol

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  7. Wow, great photo of the grasshopper!

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  8. Well, I learned something new today! Thanks!
    The grasshopper picture is amazing!
    Thanks, also, for linking with me today!

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  9. Haha! I think they need to come up with something like that for mosquitos in Minnesota - and here in Wisconsin! :-))

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  10. I'm neither Finish nor Irish, but all for celebrations of any kind! Great close up of the grasshopper.

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  11. You had me going with your story! Well told! Love your shamrock flower. I had one ages ago. I wonder what happened to it....?

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  12. St. Urho's Day??? I love it!!! :)

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  13. Oh, that's just wonderful. I knew about St. Urho from another Minnesota blogger (Far Side of Fifty). What a great time of year this is for all who love the Green. I heard on the news that 13 million bottles of Guiness will be consumed today. :-)

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  14. Amanda,
    No Irish of Finish blood in me. I even forgot to wear green today.

    I like the St. Urho details. I learned something new today!

    Your shamrock is gorgeous. How fun to have a plant from your great-grandma. I have an umbrella plant that was given to us at my great-grandma's funeral in 2001. It has made several moves with me.

    Did you and the family do anything fun to celebrate St. Urho or St. Patrick?

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  15. My best friend is Finnish as is her husband - they've never told me this St Urho story... (they're from the UP of Michigan so they just might not be in the loop) I LOVE the grasshopper photo! How wonderful to have a descendant shamrock plant, Amanda. Your photo of it with the window lighting is wonderful. I'm part Irish on my maternal grandmother's side but didn't remember it's St Pat's Day until I started reading blogs. We're having non-traditional bison meatloaf and scalloped potatoes for dinner!

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  16. I've not heard of St. Urho's day! Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

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  17. Thank you for telling us about St. Urho's Day. It is the first time I have heard of it. Love your Shamrock plant on the window sill. A treasure . . .

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  18. Never ever heard of St. Urho's Day... OH--what I learn from blogging. Thanks for the education!!

    Hope you all had a gorgeous St. Patrick's Day.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  19. Thank you for a very cute post. You got an excellent picture of the grasshopper.

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  20. What a great story. Well done for preserving the shamrock tradition.

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  21. I've never actually seen a shamrock and assumed they were just like clover (despite my part Irish heritage) - not so. Lovely window display Amanda and so special to have family ties amongst your plants.

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  22. very interesting. like everyone else - i learned something new today. And i love the shamrock plant.

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  23. You made me giggle…and right…wine from Norway???And lovely story about the plant! Nice glimpse into your kitchen.And the grasshopper is a great picture!

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  24. Looky there, I learned something new today and its only 5:13 in the morning.. Very interesting post my friend. and I do hope you had a Happy St Urho's day. Love both photos.

    Hugs~

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  25. St. Urho? Did you just make that up? Lol! Just kidding.

    I miss my oxalis plant, but think I missed getting one for St. Pat's Day. Maybe on clearance? :)

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  26. Such a wonderful grasshopper picture. I love the detail. Nice capture.

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  27. I have never heard of St. Urho's day. I do know that there are a lot of Finish folks in Northern MN. How fun to have a part of the Shamrock plant your great grandmother brought from Finland.

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  28. Nice shot of the grasshopper. I've never heard of St Urho's Day, but yes we do have grasshoppers in Finland. I rather wish someone would chase away the mosquitoes.

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  29. I have never heard of St. Urho's Day before. Fascinating! It's good to learn something new :)

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  30. What a fun story. I love that your shamrock has a long history. That's very nice.

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  31. Grasshoppers are fascinating, but not in large swarms!

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  32. That is pretty interesting...and I love your collection of milk glass!

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