Easter in Finland

The old people used to say: ”Christmas has its own special date, and Midsummer has taken its days in July, but White Sunday and Easter throw or slam their dates repeatedly.”

Easter date depends on vernal equinox (21st of Mars) and on phases of the Moon.

Easter is nature’s awakening feast in springtime. Previously Easter was considered as a great feast, it was found even as a beginning of a year or at least as a beginning of summer. Easter celebration is clearly divided into two parts. From Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday evening people were concentrated on driving away the mythological creature of evilness at the dawn of summer. After this, Easter hilarity feast started.

On the daily itinerary there are several suggestions of activities. We hope our visitors will choose the more interesting ones, weather permitting. Of course, we will take into account desires made by our visitors, too.

Daily itinerary:

9.4. Maundy Thursday, Welcome to Nukula


According to the old people, the mythological creature of evilness, evil spirit, came occasionally to live in the courtyard of the house. People needed drive it away before summer. The evil spirit was driven away with various magic spells or wizardry. Maundy Thursday was particularly favorable for this purpose. As magic tricks were used running around the house or cowshed a cowbell around your neck, smoke or metal tools to name but a few.

On the other hand, Maundy Thursday was considered as a day to cleanse yourself.

Around 1 pm.  Arrival to Nukula
Accommodation, getting to know the hosts, house and surroundings.

Preparations for the holiday and for the Easter celebration. Bringing willow and birch prances inside, making a traditional Easter decoration, baking cookies and other delicacies. Cooking the dinner together.

At times, afternoon coffee or tea is served with snack

At 6 pm. Maundy Thursday clean sauna
Drinking clean water and enjoying a little bit salt before sauna.

At 8 pm. Dinner together 
Enjoying dinner together with the host family.

The evening is free time: for instance, story telling by a campfire in a lean-to, stories about Easter traditions and culture in different countries, listening and enjoying nature, relaxing, and the story of Nukula.

Peaceful sleep in cozy rooms.

10.4. Good Friday


According to the old people, Good Friday was the most serious and silent feast of the churchy feasts, because it is the day of Jesus’s suffering and death. It was inappropriate to visit friends or laugh. Instead it was better to quiet down to read the Bible or to visit the church. Meals were cold and they were eaten just after the Sunset, because making fire was prohibited on Good Friday.

The day was super acceptable for transacting magic and wizardry. Especially today, evil forces were thought to be in motion, and dangerous times were seen to last until Easter Sunday morning. Easter witches were thought to be jealous old women, who make their mischiefs at Easter. The witches then flew to the Kyöpelinvuori to compare and share their actions.

At 9 am. Breakfast
Activities mainly inside: making Easter witches, painting egg covers, drawing, … We can do playful magic and get some fresh air.

At 2 pm. Afternoon coffee or tea 
Preparing together the Good Friday dinner and other Easter meals too.

At 7 pm. Good Friday dinner
Enjoying dinner together with the host family.

There will be an opportunity to visit the local Church for evening service.

Peaceful dreams.

11.4. Holy Saturday


In many places, traditional Easter bonfires, are still burned in Finland on Holy Saturday evening. The purpose of the fire is to prevent trolls and witches mischiefs and at the same time securing next year’s harvest and livestock fortune. Also, magic was done on Holy Saturday, for example, the old people listened to omens at a three-way junction on late Saturday night.

At 9 am. Breakfast 
Participating in the typical Finnish Easter routines, relaxing, resting, enjoying silence and the presence of each other both indoors and outdoors. Forest walking, listening and feeling nature. Retreating to read or to write.

Cooking Holy Saturday lunch together.

At 1 pm. Holy Saturday lunch 
Finishing the bonfire and getting ready to burn it. Cooking Holy Saturday dinner together.

‘Enjoying afternoon coffee or tea, with some snack.

At 6 pm. Holy Saturday dinner
Enjoying together the dines. Discussing about the meaning of the Easter bonfire.

Let’s go to burn the bonfire.

At 8 pm. Burning Holy Saturday bonfire
Instructions how to behave by the fire:
• please don’t go too near fire, flames
• you must not expand fire
• you need to stay awake / control fire at all times
• the fire had to be completely distinguished before leaving the bonfire
Let’s enjoy the fascination of fire and tell stories.
Peaceful sleep in cozy rooms.

12.4. Easter Sunday


Now the most cheerful part of Easter starts!

Still the old people made their magic. Magics purpose was to peek into the future. Young women believed that they will get liveliness all the next year, if they were able to bring one bucket water from a stream and wash their face before the first quacking of a crow was heard in the morning. It was also believed that the first animal seen in the morning passed on its features to the seer for a year:
• horse – power
• cow – laziness
• pig – dirtiness
• sheep – compassion
• dog – wisdom

The cat had to be stayed away to avoid a lazy, sleepy, and chilly year.

The breakfast time depends on our common activities in the morning.

According to the old people, the Sun dances and plays with joy when rising on Easter Sunday morning to celebrate the great Ascension. They went to see the dance on the hills. Right today, Sun is rising at 6:01, so we should wake up early and go watch Sun dance before the breakfast. Let’s take a morning excursion to Haukkavuori or the nearby hill. If you see Sun dancing, it means your coming year will be excellent. Especially the old people were expecting a great year of barley.

Let’s have the breakfast after excursion. And after breakfast, rest, play indoor games and enjoy your free time.

Cooking together Easter Sunday lunch.

At 1 pm. Easter Sunday lunch 
The old people considered that the egg laying season begins at Easter. To celebrate this, a Kovamunakisa (a competition whose boiled egg will be the hardest) will be held at lunch. The next year of the competition’s winner is going to be particular lucky.

Let’s write an Easter letter to yourself and send it to your home. Spending free time, taking a nap, wandering in the forest, staying by Lake Päijänne, listening to nature, …., let’s have fun!

Preparing Easter Sunday dinner together.

Enjoying afternoon coffee or tea with some cookies.

At 5 pm. Easter Sunday sauna
Although the Easter joy has already started, we will enjoy sauna in silence.

At 8 pm. Easter Sunday Gala dinner
At least there will be served traditional Finnish Easter dessert made from rye flour, traditional thin unleavened bread made from barley or oat, Finnish dish made of cow beestings, eggs, cheese, …

Sweet dreams!

13.4. Easter Monday


The joy of Easter continues! According to the old people the joy was especially aimed to young people, though of course the older ones participated according their moods too. Young were organized for instance Easter swing and opportunity to dance.

Based on the weather on Easter, the old people were eagerly predicting the weather for the coming summer.

At 9 am. Breakfast
Let´s have fun: playing indoors and outdoors games, some traditional Finnish games too such as tag, in hiding, 12 sticks on the board, quoits, mölkky (somewhat similar to skittles)

Let’s organize some playful competitions.

Please don’t forget the lunch! Let’s prepare it together.

At 1 pm. Easter Monday lunch 
…singing, dancing, … , letting all the joyful emotions get to surface, by doing all the happy things you want!

Preparing with joy and glee the common Easter Monday dinner.

Have amusing moment with afternoon coffee or tea and some Easter delights.

At 7 pm. Easter Monday dinner
The joy of Easter continues! Weather permitting it may be possible to play something in twilight. Gradually, however, one descends into the tranquility and silence telling stories, singing, and enjoying the open fire or Lake Päijänne.

Happy dreams!

14.4. Tuesday


This Tuesday is the first weekday after Easter, and it is time to start ordinary or non-special days in your life. At the same time getting home.

At 9 – 11 am. Brunch

Before or after brunch you packed your luggage.

Let’s have delicious brunch together with the host family.

Goodbye and have a nice trip to home!

Info


Availability: at Easter time

Duration: Five days 9 th – 14 th of April 2020

Location: Jyväskylä area in Western Lakeland, by Lake Päijänne

Group size: 212

Price (net price):
Adults 428 € per person in double room (single supplement +120 € per person)
Children 12 – 17 year, in extra bed 306 € per person
Children 4 – 11 year, in extra bed 212 € per person

What’s included: Full Board: accommodation in double room, meals, 2xSauna and activities mentioned in program

Food: The package includes full board. Finnish Easter food consists largely of local, organic and natural ingredients. All food is home made as well as bread (made by our visitors with the hosts). Our breakfast consists mainly of porridge, bread and toppings. Changes possible.

Supplements: Transportation available upon request. The price depends on group size. Additional days are possible to arrange upon prior reservations (net price 112 €/person/day).

Guided/self guided: Guided

Accessibility yes/no: No

How to get to Nukula: You can arrive by car to Nukula or by train, bus or airplane to Jyväskylä. Nukula is located 30 mins drive (30 km) from Jyväskylä. You can take a taxi or we can also arrange a transportation upon request. We can also arrange transportation for bigger groups from Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

Booking: https://en.nukula.fi/contact-us/ or info(a)nukula.fi