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The legend of St. Urho originated in Northern Minnesota in the 1950s. However, there are differing opinions as to their origin. Either way, the legend has grown among North Americans of Finnish descent to the point where St. Urho is known and celebrated across the United States and Canada, and even in Finland.

Accordingly to legend, before the last glacial period wild grapes grew with abundance in the area now known as Finland. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of this fact scratched on the thigh bones of giant bears that once roamed northern Europe. The grapes were threatened by a plague of grasshoppers until Urho banished the lot of them by uttering the phrase: "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen" (roughly translated: "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go away!").

St. Urho is nearly always represented with grapes and grasshoppers as part of the picture. His feast is celebrated by wearing the colours Royal Purple and Nile Green.

For more information on this legend and an ode to St Urho?s wife, visit?
http://www.brownielocks.com/urho.html

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monza006

Thanks Wendy - it's been an interesting day!! Thankfully, St Urho didn't harm the grasshoppers, he just told them to go and they went! It doesn't mention what happened when they arrived elsewhere though, I hope they all went different ways so they were no longer harmful to the farm crops - I could have guessed your daughter would enjoy finding and studying grasshoppers when she saw them! :~)

Wendy_13

Chuckling aloud, I'm with thimblemoss whose reaction was "Well I'll be ..."
I just read all the comments, and like almost everyone, I never heard of St. Urho before. In our neck of the woods, we love grasshoppers and when my daughter finds one outside, she brings it in for awhile, and then takes it out again so it can go where it wants to go.

monza006

I do hope so shazzaannie - it's always nice to be able to share new knowledge - thanks for visiting :~)

Fascinating - I'd never heard of this one. It will probably come up in some quiz now and people will be amazed with my knowledge of St Urho.

monza006

I can hear your laughter whatnauts.... LOL!! I guess he didn't perform his grasshopper expulsion in March... more likely he was born or died in March - I didn't research that info!! Sorry !!!

whatnauts

I've never heard of this one either. You are doing such a great job with educating us, monza. I think it's hilarious that a day in March should be the day to celebrate this saint. I can tell you there are no grasshoppers in northern Minnesota at this time of year!!

monza006

Rosie, how wonderful that you have heard of this saint!! It's great to hear that you used to celebrate the day, and I'm glad I've been able to remind you of this celebration! Thanks for letting me know you'd heard of St Urho! :~))

roerick3

I celebrated this as a kid with my grandfather (my Mom's German father) becuase of the grasshoppers. His Finnish neighbor told him about St Urho and my Grandfather started observing a day every spring (never the same day two years in a row) to this "Patron saint" of farmers and planters. Thanks for explaining the correct meaning behind it and the correct day to celebrate to someone who had forgotten St Urho a long time ago.

Congratulations to Pat for 53 years of marriage. I never made it that long and admire anyone who does. Hope you have a wonderful anniversary.

monza006

PJ, I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed this one, and that the info was new to you. Thanks for letting me know :~) I loved the story when I first read it, and would love to see a proper celebration of this special day.

monza006

Golly Ardy - there is a direct link between the 2 areas... how fascinating, and what a shame the guy died before seeing the results of his investment. I hate to think what £22,000 would be worth in this day and age, probably trillions!!! Thanks so much for looking it up and letting me know :~))

monza006

So glad I've been able to assist you with some useful information roadworn... this knowledge will come in very handy next time you have a plague of grasshoppers.... you might need to brush up on the pronounciation of the Finnish words though!!

puzzlejan

Goodness Mandy - great puzzle and what an info!!!! Now this was new to me as well - and I have studied Finnish mythology. Then again - why not a St Urho to help out in need, a wonderful story.
Thanks again for your research.
PJ

ringleader

Mandy, I thought you might find this better here:
Under the authority of an English land grant proferred in 1629, Captain John Mason named this land New Hampshire after the English county of Hampshire where he had enjoyed a number of years as a child. Though Captain Mason invested over 22,000 pounds in clearing land, building houses and investing in the defense of his land grant, he died in England, before ever seeing his property in the new world.

roadworn

Next time we have hoards of grasshoppers come through, I know who I am going to look for. Thanks again for the lesson, Monza.

monza006

Thanks Ardy - I live in hope that someone else has heard of him!! I enjoyed my visits to you earlier :~)

ringleader

It's not celebrated very loudly any place where I've been in the US. I never heard of him before. Glad he could get rid of the destructive grasshoppers for them. Happy St. Urho Day to all you Finnish Jigiders. Thanks, Mandy. Just been having some great chats with you at my place.

monza006

Thanks Hanne, I'm glad you found it funny and interesting :~)

Neither had I Barb, until I researched it!! I loved it at first sight!! Of course that didn't have anything to do with purple being part of the imagery! Thanks for visiting!

Someone figured the Finns needed attention anyway Heidi, and precisely... Why not!? Nice to see you today :~)

Congratulations Pat!!! How wonderful, and what an achievement - I only managed 4 years in my first marriage, and after a long gap I remarried nearly 7 years ago... so I've no chance of ever getting to gold and beyond!!

Thanks Edie - I was telling people at work about St Urho yesterday and they all looked at me as if I'd gone mad... little do they know!! :~)

2dogs7cats

Not me. Never heard of the guy, but now because of you Mandy, he will be known by a lot more people. Thanks for sharing another little known fact with us.

pkin38

This is so cool and it is also my wedding anniversay 53 years... Thanks Mandy

Surreal_Heidi

Considering Minnesota and Wisconsin are inundated with Norwegians, I figure the Finns needed some attention. Why not?

tigress

Now this is one I've never heard of, Mandy! Cute legend, cute puzzle and cute images, thanks, Mandy. :-)))

Elfie

Ohhh, this is FUNNY, Mandy!! Very interesting indeed - and then in Finland!! Thanks so very much!!

monza006

LOL!! Nice to see you thimblemoss!!

thimblemoss

Well I'll be ...

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