Easter in Finland

Traditional Finnish Easter Arrangement

Easter (pääsiäinen) is a big deal in Finland. Maybe it’s because it’s a major religious holiday for Finland’s 4.2 million Lutherans (yes, that’s nearly 80% of the population), but it also marks the first holiday of spring and a sort of precursor or warm up, as far as I can tell, to the major party that is Vappu (May Day). Regardless, I don’t really need an excuse to enjoy a four day weekend when the sun is shining at long last, and the Finns don’t seem to mind either.

The week of Easter, shops fill with the expected bunny/chick/chocolate kitsch, and at the same time flower shops and market stalls begin selling a lovely arrangement of palm leaves, pussy willows, and daffodils like the one you see here. Read more

Spring = peas

photo of peas, leeks & spinach in the spring garden
Easter morning seems like an appropriate time for the peas to sprout!
This year I was expecting a wet and snowy March, so on a warm afternoon at the very beginning of March, I planted my peas and fava beans. Today, a full month later, the peas have finally sprouted! Unlike vegetables planted at a more hospitable time of year that fairly reliably germinate per package instructions, peas generally germinate when the soil temperature is right, whether that’s a few days after planting, or, in my case, a full month after planting. That said, determining exactly when soil will warm enough for the peas to germinate is a mysterious art since it happens at a slightly different time every year, so best to plant them early and know that they’ll be there waiting when the time is right.

With peas germinating in early April, we should be eating peas by early June. And after a long, cold winter, that’s sweet spring music to this gardener’s ears. So whether you’re celebrating Passover, Easter, the beginning of spring, or something else all together, have a great day!