Posts Tagged ‘Christmas

06
Jan
11

006/2011 last day of christmas

006/2011 last day of christmas, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Epiphany is called ‘loppiainen’ in Finnish. It derives from the word ‘loppu’, which means ‘the end’. It’s the end of the Christmas season. Soon these warm, welcoming lights will disappear from our yard, and it’s back to everyday life again.

I love the atmosphere all the Christmas lights create, both in and outside the house. There are moments, after all the rush of getting there is over, when I almost believe in the old song lyrics: “! wish it could be Christmas every day”! But luckily, it is just a mad, momentary feeling. Holidays and special occasions are special just because they are not repeated every day.

Till next Christmas then, lights!

05
Jan
11

005/2011 late christmas baking

005/2011 late christmas baking, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

As we spent Christmas in England , I’ve baked just a few Finnish Christmas goodies after coming home. Today it was my favourites – puff pastry made into a star shape, with prune jam in the middle. Sprinkling the icing sugar on top always makes me think that it’s snowing.

This is what they look like before putting them in the oven. So thin and pale.

I remember how my mum used to even make the pastry herself. These days it’s so much easier to buy rolled-out pastry squares frozen. They taste just as good, but you still get the pleasure of baking a little, and most of all the lovely smell circling round the house.

25
Dec
10

#359 christmas day

359/365 christmas day, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

A lovely day spent at home without any rush. Lond leisurely brunch opening presents by the tree, and then getting Christmas dinner on its way.

Granny always makes an extra effort with her gift wrapping – and had even got a REAL Christmas tree for us, which is not the norm over here in England as it is back at home.

Ever since our daughter was born, we have always had two Christmases – Christmas Eve spent followint the Finnish traditions, and eating Finnish food, and then an English Christmas Day. Our daughter really has had the best of both worlds – with even two Santas! Recently, we have mixed the two traditions a little at home, but at granny’s it was a genuine English celebration.

24
Dec
10

#358 christmas eve

358/365 christmas eve, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

While family and friends in Finland enjoy Christmas peace at home, life is still busy here in England. After last-minute shopping it’s time to go down to a pub for some holiday cheer.

Some pubs go over the top with their decorations. This particular one was like Santa’s tinsel grotto! Great change from subdued styles back at home.

22
Dec
10

#356 merry

356/365 merry, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

This jolly Santa picture depicts my mood for the day. Finally on holiday, and it also seems that our flight for Britain will be taking off tonight, after all the chaos and disruptions of the past few days at European airports.

Truly getting into the holiday spirit now – hope all of you are, too 🙂

20
Dec
10

#354 christmas flowers

354/365 christmas flowers, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

I love flowers, and I love red. So no wonder, the poinsettia is my favourite Christmas flower. It used to be the hyasinth, with its strong scent, that really made me feel Christmassy, but the flaming red poinsettias have now definitely conquered my heart.

19
Dec
10

#353 joulukuu – ‘christmas month’

353/365 joulukuu – ‘christmas month’, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

December 19, twelfth, and last, lesson of Finnish month names.

December for us is JOULUKUU.
joulu = Christmas
kuu = month (actually ‘moon’, since a month would be ‘kuukausi’, literally ‘moon period’)

Another nice and easy name that doesn’t really need further explanations. It took me quite some time, though, to think of which picture to use to illustrate this month. I wanted a picture of a traditional, Finnish Christmas decoration, and in the end, chose this straw billygoat, decorated with red ribbons. These are common in other Scandinavian countries, too. The use of straw derives from old harvest festivals, and is very common for many different Christmas decorations (see this one, too) As for the billygoat, it is part of an ancient, pagan tradition. In those days, after Christmas, a troop of dressed-up people used to go round, giving performances in people’s homes, in exchange for food and drink. One of the members was dressed as a scary-looking billygoat. Later, in Christian times, the billygoat character still went round in January, and it was commonly believed that he came to chase Christmas away. These days, the tradition still lives on in these decorations, and in the Finnish language – Father Christmas, or Santa Claus, in Finnish is ‘joulupukki’, meaning Christmas billygoat!

Apart from getting all the family Christmas decorations out, we also light candles everywhere, and every day in December. It is the darkest time of the year, and with the candles, we seem to live in a reddish twilight most of the time.

What’s more, this picture nicely suits today’s Daily Shoot as well:

Illustrate one of the meanings of the the word warmth today in a photograph.

17
Dec
10

#351 fundraising

351/365 fundraising, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Every year, before Christmas, we arrange a Christmassy cafe in the foyer of the school, to fundraise for our international school projects. Hot drinks and Christmas goodies are on offer. Apart from fundraising, it’s also a nice way to bring some good cheer into the school for a day.

The girls had done a really good job, decorating their home-made gingerbread cookies, in shapes of Christmas trees, piggies, stars, elves and hearts. These are really traditional Finnish Christmas fare – as they must be in many other countries, too.

13
Dec
10

#347 what is christmas made of?

Over lunch at an old inn, my eyes were drawn to this window, with the setting winter sun in the background (at only 3.30 pm!), on a very cold day. The scene strongly evoked childhood Christmasses in the countryside long ago.

The triangular set of lights at each window, and the hand-made straw mobile are essential Finnish Christmas decorations. I even remember crafting such a mobile myself one year!

Here in the north, Christmas is very much a time to slow down, withdraw into your home with your family and loved ones, and revel in the moments and memories amidst traditional decorations that come out year after year.

11
Dec
10

#345 waiting for the film

345/365 waiting for the film, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Finally had the chance to go and see the latest Harry Potter at the cinema. Took this picture at a café while waiting for it to start. Conifer branches framing windows, are a typical Christmassy decoration here.




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