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St. Urho Legendary Patron Saint of Finland Saint Urho's Day - March 16 This modern tongue-in-cheek legend has added another touch of humor to Finnish culture. It appears to be the Finn's answer to St. Patrick who drove the snakes out of Ireland. The Finns are able to upstage St. Patrick by having their celebration on March 16th, the day before St. Patrick's Day. This is how the legend goes: One of the lesser known, but extraordinary legends of ages past is the legend of St. Urho, patron saint of the Finnish vineyard workers. Before the last glacial period, the legend goes, wild grapes grew with abundance in the area now known as Finland. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of this fact scratched on the thigh bones of giant bears that once roamed northern Europe. The grapes were threatened by a plague of grasshoppers until Urho banished the lot of them with "Heinasirkka, heinasirkka, mene taalta hiiteen." In memory of this impressive demonstration of the power of the Finnish language, at sunrise each March 16, Finnish women and children dressed in royal purple and nile green gather around the shores of the many lakes in Finland and chant what St. Urho chanted many, many years ago; "Heinasirkka, heinasirkka, mene taalta hiiteen," which translated means: "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go away." The adult males dressed in green costumes gather on the hill overlooking the lakes, listen to the chant, then, kicking out like grasshoppers, slowly disappear to change costumes from green to purple. The celebration ends with singing and dancing polkas and schottisches and drinking grape juice, though these activities may occur in varying sequences. Colors for the day are royal purple and nile green. The overpowering act of St. Urho is immortalized in the following: ODE TO ST. URHO Ooksie, kooksie, kollme vee Santia Urho isa poy for me. He sase out ta hopper as pig as birds, Neffer peefor haff I hurd dose words! He really told dose pugs of kreen; Braffest Finn I effer seen. Some celebrate for St. Pat unt his snakes, Putt Urho poika got what it takes. He got tall unt strong on feelia sour, Unt ate kalla mojakka effery hour. Tats why dat guy could sase dose peetles What crew as thick as chack bine needles. So let's give a cheer in hower best vay, On the sixteenth of March - St. Urho's Day! Translation: One, two, three, five Saint Urho is the boy for me. He chased out the grasshoppers that were as big as birds, Never before have I heard those words. He really told those bugs of green, Bravest Finn I've ever seen. Some celebrate for St. Pat and his snakes, But Urho boy has got what it takes. He got tall and strong on feelia sour (sour buttermilk) And ate kalla mojakka (fish head stew) every hour. That's why that guy could chase those beetles, That grew as thick as jack pine needles. So let's give a cheer in our best way, On the sixteenth of March - St. Urho's Day! Mojakka (pronounced MOY-a-kah) is a soup served in Finnish-American households in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Western Ontario. The principal ingredients are beef or fish and potatoes. Made with fish it is called kalamojakka (KAH-la-moy-a-kah), with beef it is lihamojakka (LEE-ha-moy-a-kah). Mojakka is not a term known to modern day residents of Finland. A couple of sources indicate it originated in the Bothnia region. Ivy Nevala wrote, "When Helena Rautala, a linguist, checked the word in the archives at Turku University [in 1990], she found that the word had been used in northern Bothnia, for instance in Kalajoki, which is on the coast, south of Raahe. It has two meanings, 'good tasting' and a 'fish soup usually made of potatoes and Baltic herring.' ... The word isn't in common use in Finland today." (The word for soup in modern Finnish is keitto, so what Finnish-Americans call kalamojakka is known in Finland as kalakeitto.) When Finnish immigrants of a century ago made their way to the area around Lake Superior, the name followed them, but it came to mean any soup made of leftovers. Conseqently there are many varieties of mojakka -- fish, beef, pork, venison -- and the broth may be watery or it may be more like stew. With fish it is usually milk-based. Many North American Finns remember it being served in the late winter, when supplies of potatoes and other root vegetables were beginning to run low and cooks needed to ration what remained. There are several ways to spell it as well, including "moiakka", "moijakka", and "moyakka", but "mojakka" is the most popular. Why a web site dedicated to Mojakka? Why not? Everything else is on the Internet. Truthfully, we think mojakka should be considered seriously as a regional dish, much as Wild Rice is to Minnesota, Lobster Rolls are to Maine, Boiled Peanuts are to Georgia, or Pastys are to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is certainly tastier than lutefisk, the traditional Norwegian-American dish that many consider inedible (though some Finns have been known to consume lutefisk). *** ALTHOUGH MY GANDMA MADE IT I NEVER ATE IT *** OR LUTEFISK! LOL I SEARCHED FOR WHAT I KNEW AS A CHILD AS "FEELIA" BECAUSE IT IS NOT SOUR MILK AS IN SOMETHING YOU DRINK, IT WAS MORE LIKE A PLAIN YOGURT AND WE PUT CINNAMON & SUGAR ON IT. I WAS ALSO ALWAYS TOLD THE MILK TO MAKE IT WITH HAD TO COME FROM A "FRESH" COW (1 THAT HAD JUST GIVEN BIRTH) TO MAKE THE "STARTER" FOR IT. EEE GADZ GRAMMA! RIP! I REMEMBER LIKING IT, I REMEMBER MY MOM NOT LOL (SHE IS THE IRISH ONE) HEHE THIS IS WHAT I FOUND I GUESS FOR A MODERN DAY RECIPE LOL Feelia Sour 1 to 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk ス cup milk Let milk warm to room temperature and combine with buttermilk in a custard cup. Place in a slightly warm spot (on the pilot light of a gas stove is a good place, if it's not too hot.) Cover loosely to keep the dust out, and leave it overnight. Don't shake it, or it may become watery. In the morning it should have the texture of gelatin. If not, let it stand until it coagulates. Chill in the refrigerator, then season with salt and eat it with dark bread, or sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Serves 1. THERE SEEM TO BE A FEW DIFFERENT ORIGINS OF THE LEGEND BUT.... No matter which version of the legend appeals to you the most, you have to admit that it's a great excuse for a party. And if you celebrate St. Patrick's Day too, you can stretch the celebration over a two-day period. But beware - those that consume too much purple and green beer have been known to see visions of giant grasshoppers looming on the horizon! Illonen St. Urho's Paivaa!!! (Happy St. Urho's Day!!!) Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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