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

Breaking My Addiction to Holiday “Stuff”

Durango sleeping in a pile of holiday wrapping paper
Durango sleeping in a pile of holiday wrapping paper

Hi, my name is Julie, and I’m a holiday addict. You know, the kind who can’t resist adorable Christmas ornaments, or holiday cards on clearance sale. The kind who has a ten-year supply of wire ribbon for wrapping presents and who starts listening to Christmas songs the day after Halloween. Yeah, one of those.

I think each of us forms our impression of what the holidays should be about during childhood. For us, there was a fairly elaborate procession of golf trophies and framed pictures being boxed and moved downstairs, and then a reverse procession of worn and familiar boxes of Christmas ornaments moving upstairs. We listened to Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing carols while we unwrapped decorations. It usually took most of the day, and I loved every minute of it, Read more