Easter in Finland, magic myths, old traditions and festive celebration

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Finnish Easter is a interesting mix of religion and magical Nordic rites to celebrate Spring. The traditions are clearly influenced by the fact that Finland as a country as situated between the East and the West.

Finland used to be part of Sweden, but is not regarded as part of Scandinavia a such. Both language and religion have influence from the East.

As in the UK, Good Friday and and the Monday following the Easter Sunday, ‘The Second Easter Day’ are both public holidays in Finland. The Lutheranian Church have services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Although most Christian Finns are Lutherans, many will attend the ‘Easter night “ church service in the Orthodox Church on Easter Sunday. The influence of Orthodox Easter is significant in Finland, perhaps influenced by neighbour country, Russia.

Similar to believes in Scandinavia to the West, the Easter Witch is a popular character in Finland. Although these are believes from the olden days, some of the rites are still part of the Finnish Easter today. You may meet wandering witches, children dressed up, walking from door to door and collecting sweets and treats to not through evil spirits. A bit similar to the American Halloween. Finnish homes are decorated with twigs and witches, brooms and willow twigs. And some still burn bonfires to scare evil spirits and witches away. Nowadays most superscription is gone, but the rites are part of the tradition. More commercial traditions have made it’s way into the Finnish homes too, with yellow candles, Easter chicks and cards.

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© Kontiki Finland

The Finnish people celebrate with a meal on Easter Sunday, most families having lamb and Mämmi for dessert. This is a traditional Finnish Easter dessert, made of water, rye flour and powdered malted rye, seasoned with powdered orange zest. It’s natural sweetened and baked until set. Originally stored in bowls made of birch, this dessert takes days to prepare, before being served cold with milk and sugar on Easter Sunday. If you could be tempted to celebrate a Finnish Easter this year, you may find a Mämmi recipe here.

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Mämmi by Essen & Drinken Magazine

The Easter long weekend in Finland is also a time being spend outdoors, enjoying a late snowfall or searching for the first signs of Spring.

Celebrate Finnish Easter in London. The Finnish Church invites you to a Easter Fair where you can sample Finnish foods (including Mämmi), decorations and meet Moomin! Open today, Saturday 10am to 7pm and tomorrow, Sunday 10 am to 5pm. More about this event here.

If you are interested in finding out more about Easter in Finland, visit finland.fi.

We are about to head out for lunch with friends in Hampstead. It’s overcast, a bit windy and drizzle -so perhaps a perfect day to do some Easter crafts later. 🙂

If you are in search of Easter crafts inspiration, here are 10 beautifully painted Easter eggs.

Happy Saturday! x

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