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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Finland Series at FinnishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Finnish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 14, Valentine’s Day. In Finnish, it’s called ystävänpäivä.
Valentine's Day has been celebrated around the world for hundreds of years, famously falling each year on February 14. In Finland, however, Valentine's Day is a relatively new custom, as it was added to the Finnish calendar only at the end of the 1980s. In this lesson, we will learn about customs related to Valentine's Day in Finland.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know which cartoon character has contributed to the growing popularity of Valentine's Day in Finland?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Valentine's Day is an unofficial holiday, whose present form came from the United States. Its roots go deep into history, however, back to European folk traditions and Catholic tales of saints. In Finland, Valentine's Day has only been celebrated since the 1980s.
As opposed to international customs, the Finnish Valentine's Day, literally translated from Finnish as Friendship Day, ystävänpäivä, is meant for remembering and caring for one's friends, although lovers do also celebrate the day.
On Valentine's Day, Finns will remember their friends with Valentine's Day cards, which in Finnish is ystävänpäiväkortti, and small gifts. Valentine's Day has become the second most popular day to send cards, following right behind Christmas. In addition to traditional postcards, a lot of e-cards and greetings are sent. Friends are also pampered with gifts, goodies, and flowers.
A variety of events are held on Valentine's Day throughout Finland, where one can go with a friend or a loved one to spend quality time together. Popular events include concerts, seminars, sports events and, of course, rousette skating or in Finnish rusettiluistelu. These last events are especially popular in schools, which usually hold rousette skating events as Valentine's Day approaches.
Valentine's Day started in Finland thanks to the Tampere Heart Association, which combined the previously held "red hearts celebration" with a marketing campaign in the early 1980s. The Finnish Red Cross or Suomen Punainen Risti, in turn, printed the first Valentine's Day cards.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know which cartoon character has contributed to the growing popularity of Valentine's Day in Finland?
In the Peanuts comics, created by Charles M. Schulz, Snoopy the dog receives piles of cards with images of a heart. Peanuts is known in Finnish as Tenavat, and Snoopy is called Ressu, and both enjoyed great popularity in Finland during the 80s.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you send any Valentine's Day cards?
Leave us a comment at FinnishPod101.com, and see you again in the next class!