Posts Tagged ‘decorations


#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.


#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.


#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.


#339 recycled lanterns

339/365 recycled lanterns, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

We took our Singaporean friend for a countryside tour, to meet my brother. We also visited a small farm there, where they have started keeping a few alpaca for the wool. Around the old farmhouse, the owners had a lot of nice rustic Christmas decorations.

Baby food jars have many uses. Great idea to put a candle inside and hang them from bare branches of trees.


#334 some light into the darkness

Creating some Christmas decorations on our balcony out of old bits and pieces. The main thing is to have some lights to brighten up the long spells of darkness.


#297 squash collection

297/365 squash collection, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

It’s the last day of the autumn break – back to school tomorrow. So, today out came the course books and papers again. Never ending! Inspiration eluded me all day – maybe partly because fo the miserably grey weather.

Luckily, my husband ventured out to the riverside market again today, despite the rain, and got back with a bag full of squashes of different colours and shapes. They make a nice centrepiece on the dining table – and provided the topic for my photo.


#278 autumn in the yard

278/365 autumn in the yard, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Getting ready for Halloween and winter. Halloween only reached Finland less than 10 years ago, and not many people want to know anything about it, as it’s not a traditionally Finnish celebration. Since our year in the US, we have always decorated for Halloween a little. I think these pumpkins will be turned into lanterns at the end of the month.

Summer flowers are being replaced by the winter heather, too. Cold weather is on its way.


#269 seen along a cycling tour

269/365 seen along a cycling tour, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Gorgeous, warm, sunny Sunday to go cycling with hubby. We noticed in the local paper that there was an autumn market in a nearby village, so we headed there. Lots of beautiful views all along the route, and looking for fences and walls for the Daily Shoot at the same time.

Fences and walls can divide or demarcate. Make a creative photo of a fence or wall today (@muffett68)

Saw this wall of a rubbish collection point, which wasn’t much as a picture in itself, other than what was leaning against it. I seem to have a thing about bikes, especially as interesting installation pieces. This rather worn pink bike was resting against this wall, as a stand to put flower baskets on. As I have remarked on before, it has given a new life to an otherwise useless piece of metal. I wish I had seen it in summer as now, obviously, the flowers are well past their prime. It still looked rather cute all the same!

I realize that I now have a set of bikes in three different seasons, so – note to self – find a spring one next year, to complete the set!

summer bike
winter bike

And for anyone who’s interested, here is my set from the village autumn market.


#51 Singapore and sun – here I come!

Winter holiday, and I and a colleague are taking 8 students on a student exchange trip to Singapore to visit our partner school there.

This little porcelain sun smiles on our balcony – a souvenir from the sunny carnival in Sicily. I am expecting lots of sun and carnival atmosphere this time too. Can’t wait! I’m all packed and leaving for the airport in an hour.

I don’t think I will be posting here much for a week, but lots of pictures when I come back, I’m sure.


July 2020

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