Thursday, March 16, 2006

St. Urho's Day, Lips Appreciation Day, Everything You Do Is Right Day, March 16th

St. Urho's Day

What is St. Urho's Day? It's a Finnish-American celebration, began in Minnesota, attributed to Minnesotans Richard L. Mattson and Sulo Havumaki. The first documented celebration was in 1956.

Legend has it (according to Mattson and Havumaki), that St. Urho saved the Finnish wine-grape harvest from an unusually large plague of locusts. St. Urho, whose name is (surprise) translated as "hero," raised his staff and yelled in a Valkerian voice (okay, I'm making that part up... Valkerian is feminine) the phrase, "Heinasirkka, heinasirkka, menetaalta hiiten" (which in English means "Grasshopper grasshopper get the hell out!") which once and for all got rid of all the grasshoppers in Finland, and saved the grape harvest.

Some people, who don't like to have fun, poo-poo the existence of St. Urho. They point out that there is no Finnish wine-grape crop, and that the country is still occupied by grasshoppers. Also, the legend is quite similar to the legend of St. Patrick- you know, driving the snakes out of Ireland and stuff. (But, Ireland never had snakes, so there isn't that much to complain about.)

Still, not to be outdone by their Irish-American counterparts, Finnish-Americans celebrate Urho's feast by wearing green and purple (the colors of the grape vine) and drinking grape juice, and wine, and purple colored beer (they were just jealous of the green beer), and planting donut seeds (Cheerios). Others re-enact the Urho Day miracle by shouting his famous command to every insect they see, (because March isn't the season for grasshoppers) while some areas of the US, with large Finnish populations, celebrate with pitchforks races running down hills and chainsaws competitions cutting down giant wooden grasshoppers. Fun!

Lips Appreciation Day

Get out the lipstick, lip gloss, chapstick, or whatever you use to make those lips more appealing... it's almost here! The day that it is okay to kiss perfect strangers, just because you might be 1/1024th Irish. Or, if you only have Irish eyes, people should just kiss you anyway. Because kissing is so much nicer than that pinching thing.

Everything You Do Is Right Day

Considering that yesterday was Everything You Think Is Wrong Day, this is a nice follow up. I wish it came with a guarantee.

If you want to check out some other websites that have the St. Urho legand (because you think that I might be slightly off) try here or here or here or here or here


b said...

Is he a saint in the Catholic sense, or the Minnesotans making stuff up sense? Because It seems strange to cannonize a man for yelling at bugs.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I think the Minnesotans made up the saint part. The legend is pretty traceabe to American sources... American pub sources.

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