Finnish Americans celebrate St. Urho’s Day
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Friday may be St. Patrick’s Day, but Finnish Americans are celebrating St. Urho’s Day Thursday.
It started in northern Minnesota in the mid-1950′s to both extend the St. Patrick’s Day celebration and honor Finnish culture. Finns typically celebrate by wearing purple and hosting dances or feasts. According to legend, St. Urho drove away grasshoppers to save the Finnish grape crop.
The fact that St. Urho’s Day is right before St. Patrick’s Day is not a coincidence.
“It really was a creation of Finnish Americans who wanted to have something to compete with St. Patrick’s Day,” said Daniel Truckey, U.P. Beaumier Heritage Center director. “Of course, they put it the day before St. Patrick’s Day as a way to compete with St. Patrick’s and kind of beat the Irish to the punch.”
St. Urho’s Day is not widely known or celebrated in Finland.
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