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    1. #1
      FBI agent Ynot's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 2005
      Southend, Essex

      Saint Urho's Day

      For all you Finns out there that are feeling left out with all the Saint Patrick's Day hubbub...

      Saint Urho

      It should be noted that no legend of a "St. Urho" exists in the Finnish mythology. He is supposed to be the holy man who drove away the grasshoppers from Finland using the incantation "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen!" ("Grasshopper, grasshopper, go from hence to Heck!"), thus saving the Finnish grape crops. (An alternate version of the legend uses frogs in place of grasshoppers.)

      Credit for the creation of St. Urho has been given to Richard Mattson, who worked at Ketola's Department Store in Virginia, Minnesota. Mattson is credited with conjuring up the legend of St. Urho in the spring of 1956, but many others have contributed to the legend since then. The legend in the St. Urho was originated as a joke, copied from the Irish St. Patrick's Day tradition to give the Finns their very own equivalent of St. Patrick's Day. It is celebrated today among many Finns, primarily in America, as St. Urho's Day but is acknowledged as a joke. The selection of the name Urho is likely came from former Finnish President Urho Kekkonen.

      St. Urho's Day is celebrated on March 16 (the day before St. Patrick's Day) every year. His feast is supposed to be celebrated by wearing the colors Royal Purple and Nile Green.

      There are St. Urho fan clubs in Canada and Finland as well as the US. The original statue of St. Urho is located in Menahga, Minnesota. There is a beer restaurant called St. Urho's Pub in central Helsinki, Finland.

      (\_ _/)

    2. #2
      cocoastar cocoastar's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 2005
      Milwaukee, WI
      Thanks for the history lesson Ynot! Interesting stuff. (I used to live near MN.)


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