Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St Urho's Day 2010

Happy St Urho's Day! Smack dab in-between the Ides of March and St. Patrick's Day is the little known St Urho's Day celebration. Not many people get excited about this Finnish Hero. I felt that my Grandsons should be taken to the parade..it was our Grandma Adventure last Saturday! I wrote this two years ago. The photos that accompany the story were taken last Saturday. Typical to small town celebrations, there were a King and a Queen in the parade and people that threw candy. Finlanders travel from far and wide to partake in the parade and celebration. Well.. maybe twenty miles or more.
Today is indeed the day that Finlanders all over Minnesota celebrate Saint Urho's battle with the pesky grasshoppers that threatened the grape crop. He chased the grasshoppers waving a pitchfork hollering "Heinasirkka, heinasirkka, menetaalta hiiten"...Grasshopper, grasshopper get the hell out of here.
The colors of the day are Deep Purple representing the grapes, and Emerald Green representing the grasshoppers or the vines.
This legend of Saint Urho began in 1956, in Virginia, Minnesota as a joke, the Finns answer to St. Patrick's Day. Richard L. Mattson and Gene Mc Cavic are most often credited for starting this great celebration.
Today in Menahga, Minnesota there will be men running from the hillside toward the lake, somehow they begin by wearing green, that is magically changed to purple..they chase the grasshoppers into the lake and the whole town celebrates by having Culla Mojakka (Fish Soup) and Flat-bread.
Menahga has a twelve foot tall statue of St. Urho...pronounced Errrrh-hoe...he has a large grasshopper impaled on his pitchfork. The statue is located on Highway 71. Menahga also has the best bakery around, it is located kitty-corner from the Post Office..you can purchase the most wonderful flat-bread there...but never on a Monday.
The little boys indulged me, Little Elvis was a little scared..the boys got lots of candy and the whole parade must have lasted all of five minutes. I have always wanted to attend this parade and I was thrilled to share it with them! :)


  1. Oh, those crazy Finns! Such a cool festival. But tell me - why are they wearing underpants over their track suit trousers?

  2. Lady Fi, Those Knights of St Urho were handing out candy. They had on purple long underwear and boxer shorts..it must be their ST Urhos Day uniform! There were about eight of them all dressed the same way:)

  3. Happy St. Urho's Day, Connie! I am celebrating by going to hear some Irish music at the local theater tonight!

  4. What fun!

    I love a parade because it brings the community together. My area several parades a year: County Fair, Veteran's Day, Homecoming at the high school, Rendezvous Day, Winter Carnival, and probably others that I've forgotten. Sadly, no marching bands anymore, but the Community Band plays while they ride on a flat-bed trailer for the County Fair parade.

  5. Happy St. Urho's Day. The parade seems like a fun way to celebrate and have a good time. I had never heard of St. Urho's Day. I liked learning about it.

  6. Oh how funny. Only in Minn-ie-soda!!! Where long winters lead to creativity.

  7. What a fun celebration to share with your grandchildren. It looks like a real let's kick winter in the pants kinda' shindig! I've never heard of it before. Thanks for the introduction.

    God bless and have a terrific Tuesday!!!

  8. Between you and Pat's blog about the Ostrich Festival, I have had a VERY entertaining evening!

  9. I LOVE that you know and celebrate St. Urho's Day...the U.P. laughs about it and we wear purple too..I am part Finnish and so is my husband...I don't like the fish soup or the flat bread either. ha

  10. I can't believe that I missed this holiday!!!! Well, it could be that my husband is Swedish, and his straight from Sweden grandma always told him to beware of the Finns, 'cause they all carry knives. Who knew it was only cuzza the nasty grasshopper! Go Urho! And pass the fish soup and flat bread, oh wait I'm late a day, now I have to move on to soda bread, guinness, and tater soup.

  11. Oh, my. What a wild and crazy event! Thanks for the smile. :D

  12. Katie from Minnesota! (:March 17, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    Even though I am only 13 I do know that they wore boxers over their clothing just for the fun of it, to make it more entertaining for the children. When I was in Finland I used to go to these all the time since I was 5. Happy St. Urho's day! Get all that beer before the irish (:
    Happy St. Urho's Day, jatkuvasti on mahtava.



Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. I no longer accept anonymous comments. All comments will be approved before posting...due to spammers...may the fleas of a thousand camels infest every hair on his body. Connie