Received on: 12 Mar, 2013
Distance: 351 km (218 miles)
Travel time: 13 days
Thank you Leila from Lappeenranta, Finland
" Virpominen " is from Karelia and takes place during the Holy Week. Children decorate willow branches to represent the palms thrown under Jesus legs when he entered Jerusalem. Scaring evil spirits or bad luck away with branches is a widely practices tradition in Finno-Ugric cultures. At Virvonta the children dress up as witches and go from house to house gifting the willow branches and telling the “Virpomis” poem [Virpomis loru] to wish a good coming year. In return they receive painted or chocolate eggs or sometimes money.
”Virvon varvon tuoreeks terveeks
Vitsa sulle, palkka mulle.”
"With this twig I wish you
blessings and good health for next year.
You get the twig, I get a treat"
In the evening we have Pääsiäiskokko - Easter Fire. Mostly an Ostrobothnian tradition to set bonfires on Holy Saturday. According to tradition, it is set Saturday so that it scares away the evel spirits and witches, that freely roam around, because Jesus died on Good Friday and will resurrect only at Easter Sunday.