Easter in Finland

This is what happens when you quickly, with about two hours before an Easter egg hunt, make an Easter basket and decorate some eggs. Pretty impressed with myself, actually.  I just grabbed what I had on hand in the craft pile and went crazy.

Easter eggs in basket

After four Easters here in Finland (has it really been 4?!), we finally tried mämmi, a traditional Easter dish here.  Mämmi is made with rye flour and rye malt (among other things) and allowed to sweeten naturally before being baked.  I picked some up from the grocery store and put it in a bowl with some vanilla cream.  It tastes like molasses, and after the first bite Stephen was done with it, but I finished the small bowl, and although the texture was a bit grainy, I will say that the taste grew on me with each bite.


Easter is a great weekend to travel around here, because both Friday and Monday are a holiday, so it’s a good, long four day weekend.  The stores are also closed for most of the time – Friday, Sunday, and Monday, all day, since those are official holidays.  On Saturday, the grocery store is open, but the Post Office and Liquor Store are both closed.  It makes me wonder what the sales figures are on the Thursday beforehand, since everyone is out shopping like Southerners bracing for an inch of snow…

Oddly, we’ve never traveled for Easter Weekend, mostly because we put off planning anything until it’s too late.  Honestly, after our trip to Lapland a few weeks ago, we’re rethinking our travel plans for the year.  Traveling with a baby is hard!  I hope it was mostly because Baby J was sick, and it’s really not as difficult as it seemed.  Our takeaway lesson #1 was: get an apartment, don’t stay in a hotel.  Maybe that will help.  I should plan something relatively easy so we can find out.  Hmmm…..where to go…..


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7 thoughts on “Easter in Finland

  1. the first easter i was here i shopped on the thursday before. complete madness!!!! i will never make that mistake again. it is just like the south (and the north does it too) clearing the shelves in a fit of panic.

    at easter i’ve learned to do my big food shopping on tuesday. go to the smaller neighborhood shops on saturday to restock milk, veg, etc. in and out no problems.

    i’ve learned also to stock up on the liquor well before a holiday because i’ve experienced the alko once at christmas. NEVER.AGAIN.

    your easter eggs are sweet! sadly no one was interested in coloring eggs in our house, those days are gone i guess… but they were happy to get the chocolate!

    • Yeah, I try not to shop the day before a holiday, but it’s usually unavoidable for me. Lack of car usually plays into it… Actually, I went to the store on Saturday and it wasn’t too bad – lots of people, but I stepped up to two cashiers with no one in line! Ah, the small things in life…

    • Blind Sniper

      1) Get yourself a Finnish calendar.
      2) Watch out for the days marked in different colour: Ask your Finnish friends about them, check how the shops are open around them, etc. Plan ahead.

      Two of those spells “make sure you have everything you need”. Easter especially is something to watch out for: three of them within a four-day span. That’s all you need to know, really. Now, the law/custom states that if you have two of them back-to-back, the shops will be open on one of them (the latter), but if you think about it your brain will tell you really don’t want to be there for anything but an item or two – either for something really essential or for something you have a craving for – something you are willing to take the punishment for, essentially. The day after might also have more customers than usual as people re-stock their pantries.

      For shopping during rush times, bring an MP3 player and blast the most aggressive music you have. Soothing music won’t work, because it won’t match the surroundings and will only bury your feelings and make you simmer in them instead of releasing them. Cheerful music would be the worst to listen to.

  2. ps i have never tried mämmi. the though of the malt part really turns me off. i had a super malty beer once and my stomach bloated up so big and painful all i can think is that this will set me off the same way.
    no one in the house is begging for it so i’m not so keen on buying any to try it either.

    • The look of it scared me off for three years – this year I decided to give in and try it! Like I said, it’s like molasses, so if you like molasses…

  3. You know….I think traveling with a small child is just hard. At the very least, it’s certainly not relaxing. It’s more work than being at home because everything is thrown off schedule and routine and baby is outside their comfort zone. We’ve always stayed in apartments or houses and that’s been really nice because at least she still has a bedroom we can dedicate and make as homey as possible. We travel with her blanket and sound machine to help out as well. But…yeah. In my experience, we had a sweet spot for travel and it’s before she was really crawling/walking. I’ve heard it gets better again around age 3-4 when they can communicate what they are feeling instead of expressing it through crying or tantrums. We did San Francisco when she was 8 months old and it was a breeze. We did Hermosa Beach when she was 1 and it was more difficult but not too bad…and then Puerto Rico at 21 months old…OOF. Definitely WAY more challenging. A large part of it is adjusting your own expectations of what your “vacation” will look like. I think we’ve learned that lesson after this last trip. So next trip we’ll go in with eyes wide open and see how it goes. I’m certainly not going to stop traveling! 🙂

    • We ran into the problem of there not being a place for him to roam free – luggage or shoes or stroller or whatever else was in the way, plus the space was so small to begin with. And then there was the issue of having the crib right next to our bed, so of course everyone is awake or everyone is asleep, there is no other option. So yeah, apartment rental is the way to go in the future!

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