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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 7. Mother’s Day. In Finnish, it’s called äitienpäivä.
Mothers are important to everyone, and Mother's Day is celebrated in Finland in the spring on the second Sunday of May. Today we will discuss the customs and traditions associated with Mother's Day in Finland.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know any other Finnish synonyms for the word “mother”?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The tradition of celebrating Mother's Day was adopted by Finland from the United States. The first Mother's Day was celebrated in Finland in 1918 by a primary school teacher and member of parliament named Vilho Reima. Though initially, Mother's Day was celebrated on the third Sunday of May, from 1927 onwards, it was transferred to the second Sunday of May, on the initiative of teachers. This way, the day wouldn’t be too close to end-of-school-year festivities. The day become an official flag day or liputuspäivä, in 1947.
Many families in Finland have a tradition of preparing a festive breakfast for their mother, which typically is served to her in bed. The kids will wake up their mother by singing to her and giving her an often homemade Mother's Day card or äitienpäiväkortti, and gifts, as well as freshly-picked windflowers or valkovuokkoja, from the forest, the traditional flowers of Mother's Day. Mother's Day is an official flag day and the Finnish blue cross flag waves on flagpoles from eight in the morning until nine in the evening.
Mother's Day activities vary by family, but Mother's Day lunch, or in Finnish äitienpäivälounas, in a restaurant is a very common tradition for most. It’s a common habit to visit grandfathers and grandmothers, and for the generations to spend time together. There are also many types of events held on Mother's Day, such as daytime concerts and exhibitions. The President of the Republic of Finland also takes the opportunity to reward mothers who have excelled as distinguished educators with the First Class Medal of the White Rose of Finland. In 2014, the medal was awarded to thirty-five mothers.
The blooming of windflowers depends on the variable spring weather. Though around this time of year the weather is usually already warm, a cold spell can sometimes throw in a surprise; in 1995, snow fell throughout the day in the southern and western parts of the country, and the temperature rose to only five degrees celsius.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know any other Finnish synonyms for the word “mother”?
Mothers are precious to many people, so many variants have formed for the word “mother,” over time, here are some—äippä, äiskä, äitee, mamma, mami, mutsi, mude, mute, emo, maammo, mammu, mammi.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What kinds of flowers would you give to your mother?
Leave us a comment at FinnishPod101.com, and see you again in the next class!