Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Urho's Tay!

Happy St. Urho's Tay (a.k.a. St. Urho's Day), or what's left of it (it's almost over for this year as I write this.) What's that? You've never heard of St. Urho?

Well, gather round! As legend has it, when Finland's grape crop was threatened by grasshoppers, Urho banished the grasshoppers from the country by shouting "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen!" ("Grasshopper, grasshopper, go from hence to Hell!") Now Finns and Finnish-Americans celebrate St. Urho's Tay on the 16th of March.

Actually, Finland doesn't grow many grapes and they still have grasshoppers. The story of St. Urho was invented, allegedly as a joke, in 1956 by a Finnish-American from Virginia, Minnesota (that's a town named Virginia in the state of Minnesota) named Richard Mattson and later revised by Dr. Sulo Havumäki of Bemidji, Minnesota. The "legend" and it's accompanying "holiday" have caught on in Finnish-American communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is also gaining popularity in Finland. If it tickles your fancy, google St. Urho to find out more.

It may be too late to observe St. Urho's Tay by the time you read this, but you can still drink a beer (or maybe two) and enjoy The Sauna Song by Conga Se Menne. And remember, it's pronounced SOW-nuh not SAW-nuh.

5 comments:

FranIAm said...

Hmmm... Although I do not get here too often, I thought I had you on my blogroll.

And I just realized that I do not. St. Urho has interceded to change that.

You do great stuff here!

Crayons said...

This is too funny. It reminds me of the credits in ... was it "Holy Grail"? This Finn seems to have had the same wild-an'-crehzy sense of humor that you have. Thanks for the uhm repetitive (sp?) video.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

My Finnish freind Allan taught me how to pronounce sauna properly. I'm forevergrateful to it for it.

Ed said...

Franiam: Thanks! You're too kind. I like your blog, too, although I'm one of those people who often can't think of anything in the way of comments that hasn't already been said by someone else. Bad Bloggerform™, I know, but I'm working on making Bad Bloggerform™ form into an art. Maybe even an Olympic Sport™ someday. Probably not soon enough to be able to boycott the Olympics in China, though. Also too lazy to update my blogroll, part of the art, I guess. Never fear, I'll get you on there, maybe even soon!

Crayons: Was it the Holy Grail? You're probably right. Spamalot, which I believe is based on the Holy Grail, has a Finnish Fish Slapping song in the beginning, so that would make sense. There is some hope that Conga Se Menne, the guys in the video, will be coming to your town some day; I'll keep you posted should that come to pass.

Dr. Monkey: Your friend Allan is doing good work. If we can only get Obama on board, the whole country will soon be pronouncing "sauna" correctly. Has Allan gotten you into a sauna? They're great, if done properly; if you're not sloppy with sweat when you get out, it wasn't a real sauna. For best results, you should also be naked, unlike the poseurs in the video. They probably didn't want YouTube to slap them with the "adult content" thing. Supposedly good for your heart, but I don' think they're recommended for people with heart issues. Most likely, if you can't jog or do anything that raises your heart rate, you probably shouldn't take sauna either. :(

FranIAm said...

Bloggerform... now that'sgood!!

Come, read, lurk, comment - bloggerform... it is all good!!