'Loppiainen' - Finnish Epiphany

Gustaf Tenggren Illustration

In Finland, Epiphany is called 'Loppiainen', a name which goes back to the 1600s.
 In the 1500s the Swedish-Finnish Lutheran church called Epiphany 'Day of the Holy Three Kings', 
while before this, the older term Epiphania was used. In the Karelian language Epiphany is called 
'Vieristä', meaning cross, from the Orthodox custom of submerging a cross three times to bless 
water on this day. Today, in the Lutheran church, Epiphany is a day dedicated to a focus on 
missionary work in addition to the Wise Men narrative. Between the years 1973 and 1991 
Epiphany was observed in Finland on a Saturday each year no earlier than January 6,
and no later than January 12. After that time however, the traditional date of January 6 
was restored and has since been observed once again as a national public holiday

'Piparkakut' or Finnish spice cookies are a dish typically served 
 on this day, especially when cut into the shape of a star. These cookies are 
broken in the palm of one's hand, while making a silent wish. If on Epiphany a 
Piparkakku star should break into three pieces, and all three be eaten 
without speaking a word, it is said that the wish will come true.

by Käthe Norborg
The Christmas tree is traditionally taken out of the house on 
Epiphany. While the term Loppiainen means 'ending of Christmas time' in reality, 
Christmas celebrations in Finland are extended to 'Nuutti' or St. Canute's Day on 
January 13, completing the Scandinavian Twenty Days of Christmas

by Käthe Norborg


Maria said...

Hi! Happy Epiphany Mette! I adore this post,you know, down here we call "Noche de Reyes" or "Reyes Magos", and children cut grass and put in their yards, with some cookies, for camels to eat at night when the Kings arrive with gifts, while they sleep, hihi. ;)

Aputsiaq Mette said...

Happy Epiphany to you, too! You really made me smile; grass for the camels :O) Thank you for sharing!