New Year’s Traditions in Finland

×

In Finland the celebration of the New Year is a very boisterous event. The official holiday is New Year’s Day 1.1, but Finns celebrate it on the last day of December. This day is called New Year’s Eve. Of course, the Eve is there to celebrate the changing year. When the year changes, people wish to each other “Onnellista Uutta Vuotta!”, which means ‘’Happy New Year’’ in Finnish.

There are many kinds of celebration styles of the New Year: others celebrate peacefully with their own family and others party with friends. Sparkling wine and champagne are traditional New Year’s party drinks and favorite foods include cooked wieners and potato salad.

Fireworks

An essential part of the Finnish New Year’s Eve festivities are the numerous fireworks displayed throughout the country, which is the highlight of the evening. Most of these are consumer fireworks are fired by private citizens. Professional fireworks displays are sometimes conducted by many towns, organizations, clubs or companies. Previously, people believed that fireworks would deport evil spirits.

New Year promises and predictions

In the new year, people recall the events of the year and predict the next year. The New Year can begin as a clean sheet. That is why many make promises for the next year: many promise to lose weight and take care of their condition, or be a better person, etc.

One of the most important traditions in Finnish New Year is the casting of tin. Everyone gets a small piece of tin, cast in the shape of a miniature horseshoe, a traditional symbol of good luck. The horseshoe is melted and the liquid metal poured quickly in a bucket of cold water, making it harden into a more or less irregular-shaped, solid clump. The shape and shadow of the resulting cast are examined and interpreted to predict the various future events of the coming year. Different shapes have different meaning, promising either good luck or health, wealth, happiness, sorrow, sickness, etc. If the cast breaks down to pieces, it is a sign of “bad luck”.

Author:
Minttu Alén