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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 19, Crayfish Party. In Finnish, it’s called rapujuhlat.
Crayfish parties belong to the end of summer in Finland, although the celebration is of Swedish origin. Eating crayfish is most common in the southern part of Finland. In this lesson, we will learn about fun-filled Finnish crayfish parties.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know what is the easiest and the fastest schnapps song, or in Finnish snapsilaulu?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The crayfish season, or rapukausi, begins in Finland on July 21 at 12PM and continues until the end of October. Crayfish parties are mostly held during August, when the evenings are still warm and gentle. The parties are held in gardens, patios, cottages, or villas, and good friends are invited along to enjoy the crayfish, good drinks, and relaxed atmosphere.
Crabs were planted in Finnish waters for the first time during the late Middle Ages, in the mid-1500s. Eating Crayfish became particularly fashionable in Paris in the mid-1800s, and the phenomenon soon after found its way to Finland. Today, the central area for crab fishing is the waters of Kokemäenjoki in southwestern Finland, and each year about 3-5 million crabs are caught. Finland is a major country for river crayfish, or jokirapu in Finnish, although almost the entire crab catch goes to the domestic market.
Boiled crayfish is served traditionally with toast, butter and chopped dill. Schnapps drinks are a part of the crayfish parties, but in addition to these Vichy, beer, or white wine may be served to enhance the celebration. In addition to the crayfish, the party menu often includes a starter soup and a dessert. Around 8-15 crayfish are reserved for each diner.
The symbolic color for the crayfish party is red, or punainen in Finnish. In addition to red, white and green are often used for the table setting and decorations. Guests of crayfish parties don bibs, or ruokalappu in Finnish, which are tied around one’s neck to prevent any stains on clothing.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know what is the easiest and the fastest schnapps song, or in Finnish snapsilaulu?
Schnapps songs are an unforgettable part of crayfish parties, but during the fastest one, there is actually no singing at all! One knocks on the table three times, says "in," or sisään in Finnish, and then drinks the schnapps. The most famous schnapps song is a Swedish song called "Helan går."
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have you ever participated in a crayfish party?
Leave us a comment at FinnishPod101.com, and see you again in the next lesson!