Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Urho's Day

The Finns of Lake Worth and Lantana honor today,
with a wink and a smile,
the man who drove the grasshoppers from Finland.
~~John Cutrone

The Legend of St. Urho came to light in Virginia, Minnesota in 1956.
It was said that St. Urho single-handedly saved the Finnish grape industry 
by driving out a plague of giant grasshoppers.

OK, so the Finns~~ in competition with the Irish in their town of Virginia~~
created St. Urho's Day. The point was to upstage St. Patrick's Day..

They chose March 16~~the day before St. Pat's~~for their saint's day.
If St. Urho's Day came first, they reasoned, it would take the wind out of St. Patrick's sails.
Another difference: St. Pat's is celebrated by wearing green and drinking oneself into a stupor.
St. Urho's is classier because it's celebrated by wearing purple and drinking oneself into a stupor.

An oak sculpture of St. Urho, spearing a giant grasshopper.
 Menagha, Minnesota

A great day for a purple parade, fish soup and flatbread.

A poem, written with a Finnish accent, was composed for St. Urho.
 The original isn't easy to read so here's a simplified version:

Ooksie kooksie kollme vee
Santia Urho is the boy for me
He chase out the hopper as big as pirds
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 snake
But that Urho boy has what it takes.

He got full and strong on feelia sour
And ate Kalla Mojakkaa every hour
That's why that guy dould cheese those beetles
That crew as thick as jack pine needles.

So let's give a cheer
in our very best way
on the sixteenth of March
St. Urho's Day!


tammy j said...

LOLOL! delightful!
BUT. when it comes to chasing out SNAKES or even way too big grasshoppers . . .
sorry. i'm with the guy that gets out the SNAKES! :) xo

S. Etole said...

Didn't know this about the north woods.

Dewena Callis said...

How interesting! New to me but I love purple and I love fish soups--the only one in my family that does. I, on the other hand, cannot stand corned beef and cabbage. Well, I love cabbage, just not corned beef.

Not crazy about grasshoppers either except for the Disney version.


Is this where the phrase ... a wink and a smile ... came from? I have always liked it.


Linda said...

Sounds like there's a lot of lively fun going on during the days of the 16th and 17th March over in Minnesota between the Purples and the Greens!