The Finnish Cultural Garden was dedicated September 14, 1958. On the first annual Kid's Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, kids (of all ages) learned about the Finnish language, culture, history, geography and more. (Did you know that Angry Birds was created in Finland?) Ken Quiggle of the Finnish Cultural Garden was one of the co-chairs of Kid's Day in the Gardens. When the group arrived at the Finnish Garden, Ken welcomed them and explained the various activities such as having the Finnish flag painted on your hand or making your own Finnish flag.
Ken Quiggle, Bonnie and Donna in the Finnish Garden on Kid's Day
The Nobel-Monitor Lodge #130 Vasa Order of America hosted their annual Christmas and Lucia Fest on December 6, 2015. Highlights included the songs by the Vasa Voices Choir and the Lucia procession and songs by the children.
The Octoberfest events in Scandinavia are very popular, and not only among local beer lovers! A Scandinavian Octoberfest is a great celebration when the warm weather diminishes in fall. Despite the name "Oktoberfest", most Oktoberfest events start in September.
Quite a peculiar national tradition in Norway is solving crimes during Easter. Publishers churn out series of books known as "Easter Thrillers" or "Påskekrimmen". Even the milk cartons change during the Easter season to have murder stories on their sides!
"Pääsiäinen" in Finland is celebrated with Easter egg hunts for the children. The hard boiled, chocolate, or candy eggs are hidden in the house or garden. Children also walk between houses, handing out twigs or decorations in exchange for a few coins.
In Denmark, there is a unique "Påske" tradition of sending teaser letters with little poems anonymously on Valentine's Day. If the recipient guesses who sent the poem, he or she receives the reward of an Easter egg.
In Sweden, children dress up as Easter witches with long skirts, colorful headscarves, and painted red cheeks. They go to neighboring houses presenting drawings in hopes of getting sweets in return. Folklore says the witches fly to "Blåkulla" (Blue Mountain) to meet the devil.
Another "Påsk" tradition is to place feathers on small branches of willow or birch in a vase.
By Karen Chilcote
Finnish Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio - Virtual Tour
The Finnish Cultural Garden was dedicated in 1958. It is part of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.
The Finnish Garden includes busts honoring Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the National Poet of Finland, Elias Lonnrot, a Finnish physician and folklorist, a monument and quote from Finnish author Alexsis Kivi, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and Finnish Statesman and Philosopher Johan Vilhelm Snellman.
Finnish Heritage Museum (FHM) is comprised of dedicated volunteers, all of whom have some Finnish ancestry and/or connection. Our members meet monthly to discuss museum business and plan for future events. In just a very short time, we have successfully arrived at a point which says, "we are here, we are serious, and we are active."
The museum is located on the corner of High and Third Streets in downtown Fairport Harbor, Ohio just two blocks from Lake Erie and one block from the Finnish Monument.
Tell us about the music, food, holidays, traditions, costumes, language and other qualities that make the Finnish so special.
Jean Sibelius statue in Finnish Cultural Garden
Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809. It won its complete independence in 1917.
During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and resist invasions by the Soviet Union - albeit with some loss of territory.
In the subsequent half century, the Finns made a remarkable transformation from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy; per capita income is now among the highest in Western Europe.
A member of the European Union since 1995, Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system at its initiation in January 1999.