keskiviikko 28. joulukuuta 2016

Wheel of the Year

In the old days,
finnish folks started their new year when
(a finnish harvest celebration)
was feasted at the end of October/early days of
So, it is perfectly natural that several of those old
Kekri traditions
have been transformed
to our Yuletide and modern day
 New Year´s Eve.

There was another reason also.
Well christian church did not tolerate
Kekri as it´s form of a
pagan celebration.
 But as it is known, old traditions 
lived very strongly in
the heart  of a finn.
So folks kept their old habits
but under the veil 
of Christmas,
so it was apparently
fine  for
church point of view
since those habits are alive and
kicking on this very day.

Now I wanted to introduce
some of those traditions.
This grim creature sometimes
perceived as an anti-Santa Claus.
It was this goat-like manly character who
wandered from house to house, came in, 
and typically demanded food from the household
 and especially leftover alcoholic beverages.

Children were often scared by the thought:
"If you are not behaving well after Yule, Nuutti
will take your presents away 
(and spanks you on the butt)". 
Actually Nuuttipukki is identical to Kekripukki,
visiting on winter time,
Saint Knut´s Day
13th of January to be precise.
( before year 1708 it was
on 7th of January).

No wonder that our Knut has an affinity to
He´s named after one.
Nuuttipukki is
older character in Nordic
folklore than Santa himself.
Photo from our family album. This "Santa Knut" visited my family in the late 70´s ( I think it is grandpa)
Nuuttipukki from Pinterest

Straw ornaments & bells:
Material and the form of a goat
indicates to their
descending from Kekri.

Time of Kekri, bells were used to
let the spirits know that
Kekri celebration is going on
when Kekripukit and Kekrittäret
walked on  village roads .
Honouring the dead:
Oh when ever we have the chance.
Very important to most finns.
Yet foreigners do not understand this always.
Like my partly russian
acquaintance said
"You finns just do not know how to party.
Wheeping and mourning when ever possible.
Even christmas carrols are mostly sad" :D
Actually mourning and honouring
is two whole different things you see ;)
From our family album. Finnish  Funeral in late 40´s or early 50´s

Feasting with ancestors: 

Keeping food on the table for past relatives
and spirits over the Yule night was a habit in my 
childhood home and I will try to keep up that tradition also.
Feasting with ancestors and the actual
menu of traditional Yule dinner
descents from Kekri.
Or how about carrot or rutabaga casserole,
or a ham?
Me, Yule 1992
New Year´s Tin:
Melting tin on a fire place, dipping it to cold water
and Voila!
You can read your future. 
Predicting future was one the old
Kekri traditions and 
tin melting was one of those 
referencing to
"Vainajainpalvelus muinaisilla suomalaisilla"
(pages 171-172)
Last but not least,
Always been a 
sacred place for avarage finn.
In the old days
Sauna was the place to gave
birth, as well as washing
the  bodies of deceased.
On Kekri and Yule it was and is a habit
to clean yourself on sauna, both
mentally and physically.
It gives perfect chance to
spirits go and enjoy
Kekri/Yule dinner while
hosting family is at Sauna and 
vice versa :D

Soon it will be
 New Year´s Eve
and our modern day 
Wheel of the year is turning 
once again.
I have never felt New Year´s Eve
 magic since it is purely
man made celebration.
There for I was a volunteer for morning
work shifts :D
Probably some tin melting will happen here,
but that is about it.
Peikkotyttö and Taivaantakoja 
are waiting for fireworks
and I think that they will go to  watch some
light show. 
Since Knut does not like those loud sounds that fireworks make,
I will have some company at home too
( Winter photo of little me and our
beloved Karelian bear Dog Jesse sometime in late 80´s.
She was not named after Jesus but Jesse James :) 


5 kommenttia:

  1. I've never known about Kekri before. Thank you for writing this! Such beautiful sentiments and traditions. :) And there is a difference between honoring and mourning. I honor my deceased friend often, some people might find it a bit depressing but I find it spiritually uplifting!

    1. That´s ok and you´re welcome :) Even most of finns do not know what Kekri is and was. I´m thinking this honouring of the deceased issue, like as long as someone remembers, they are still existing in some way.

  2. Aikamoinen on ollut tuo Nuuttipukin muutos. Ihania kuvia jälleen ja hyvää uutta vuotta kaikessa sanan merkityksessä <3

    1. Niin no Cola-pukiksi ainakin :D Kiitos ja Hyvää Uutta Vuotta sinullekin ja toivottavasti paaljon vlogeja tänä vuonna? :)

  3. Kyllä ainakin suomen pakanalliset juhlat sarja-jatkuu samalla tulee itsellekkin uudella lailla tutuiksi <3