Episode 20

NAME OF THE DAY CELEBRATIONS AND NORDIC ANSWERS TO HALLOWEEN | NORDIC ODDITIES AND OTHER TRADITIONS

Finnish Easter Witches

In Finland and Sweden, people not only celebrate their birthdays each year, but their name days as well. The tradition of assigning names to specific dates stretches back to medieval times. 

As the importance of name days changed over the centuries, so did the various traditions associated with it. Nowadays, it’s mainly coffee-and-cake celebrations in workplaces, day care and schools.

Finland’s indigenous Sámi people also have their own name day calendar. There is also an Orthodox name day calendar that recognises the days of saints that are observed by the small population of Finnish Orthodox.

Most Nordic’s have adopted the commercial Halloween tradition of American-style pumpkin decorations and trick or treat customs. Iceland‘s answer to Halloween is Öskudagur in February, where kids dress up in costumes and go from door to door to sing for candy. In Finland during Easter Saturday,  children dress up as little witches. The tradition derives from ancient times, when evil spirits and witches were thought to wander around, doing mischief before Easter.

You will learn

  • How Nordics have celebrated Name Of the Day since Medieval times 
  • Some Nordic answers to Halloween

TRANSCRIPT

Published by Satu Raunola-Spencer

Satu (alias Finnsydney) is a Nordic born Sydneysider. She is passionate about making the world a better place, using common sense, sustainability and practical processes in business and everyday life. She is an entrepreneurial marketing and communications leader focusing on innovation. Satu has extensive global travel and tourism industry know-how and networks. Her love of family, travel, design, yoga, running and healthy lifestyle keeps her busy. Satu is always ready talk about education, science , culture, design and of course, Finland!

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