С днём международной солидарности трудящихся!!!
Happy Remembrance of the Dead!
"Jaanipäev" ("John's Day" in English) was celebrated long before the arrival of Christianity in Estonia, although the day was given its name by the crusaders. The arrival of Christianity, however, did not end pagan beliefs and fertility rituals surrounding this holiday. In 1578, Balthasar Russow wrote in his Livonian Chronicle about Estonians who placed more importance on the festival than going to church. He complained about those who went to church, but did not enter, and instead spent their time lighting bonfires, drinking, dancing, singing and following pagan rituals.
Today 11/11 is Singles' Day or Internet shopping day (and this minute 11:11 PM).
Independence day of Finland
Staff at the Ödeshög primary school broke with tradition when selecting this year's Lucia (or Saint Lucy as she is known in English).Instead of the usual voting process they put the names of all the interested parties into a hat and selected the winning candidate in a lottery. Among the names were three boys and when the new Lucia was announced it turned out to be one of the trio. The school said the random selection was done in the interests of democracy and equality.But traditionalists weren't too impressed. Usually Lucia is portrayed by a girl, who sports candles on her head to represent Saint Lucia."Pretty soon it became sweaty. Outraged emails and text messages came flooding in. Almost all were negative, some were clear personal attacks," said school teacher Anna Wissman to local newspaper Corren.The reaction in the classroom was rather different with most of the boy's classmates supporting the gesture, although not all their parents agreed with the plan."Some people think it was a ploy to choose a boy to play Lucia. But we followed the teaching plan. We're supposed to teach equality and democracy," added Wissman.Some protestors contacted the school's headmaster to explain their anger.As well as being unhappy that a boy was representing the saint, many were hacked off that ceremony was being moved from a church to the school gymnasium instead.The school is standing by its decision and has invited the town's official Lucia, who is female, to the school to take part in the ceremony.In a compromise gesture, the boy will lead the procession for the pupils' parents in the morning while the official Lucia will take over in the afternoon.
Which one of the three? Not this Lucia video, it cropped up on my Twitter feed, I just passed it on (if it hadn't been for Twitter I probably wouldn't have kept track of those local holidays). I did once post a quip about candle-scorched hair though.
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