Easter is celebrated on April 19–22 this year. Normally in Lapland Easter is about enjoying sunny weather while skiing, driving snowmobiles or ice-fishing. Visiting parks and riversides with family is also a common way to enjoy Easter. Some leave the city for long-distance journey while some others prefer to spend the time in a quiet atmosphere in the countryside.
We asked a few city residents what they were planning for the Easter. Marko Paksuniemi, a visual designer, said “Easter holiday to me and my family is important because it is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every Easter, we are having a special dinner together. We have Filipino and Finnish food on our table, because my wife comes from the Philippines. We also attend church services. This celebration to us is more about honouring and thanking our Heavenly Father for sending His Son Jesus Christ for our salvation.”
Lauri, a student, said “One custom is virpominen. It can basically be compared to Halloween trick-or-treat. I don´t do it but I think it’s still practiced. Personally I have no plans for the Easter, but when I was a kid we sometimes went to see a big bonfire.”
Another city dweller Heini Kesti said “Virpominen is a common Easter tradition. Children collect willow twigs and go house to house to wish health. It’s mix of east and west. In western Finland, children go out on Holy Saturday and in Eastern Finland, they go out on Palm Sunday. People also decorate their homes with rye grass. Easter is theologically the most important holiday, even more than Christmas, so more people go to church than usual. Easter is a time to be with your family, eating together and spending time with your children. We will probably go skiing.”
“While many people may not be aware of the origin or meaning of the traditions, many of them have religious roots. Eggs and seeds are symbols for the Resurrection. The church has several special services during the Holy Week and more people attend these services than in a normal week", Kesti added.
A woman with her two children said “We don`t know yet, what we are going to do on Easter. Maybe we travel to my parents house or they come here. The most important part of Easter is spending time with the family and for the kids to spend time with their grandparents.”
Mikko, who works at a hotel said “Maybe I`ll have to work, but if not, I`ll eat dinner with my parents.”
City of Rovaniemi - Daily Finland Report