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St. Urho’s Day

Get ready to wear your best purple and green attire and join the fun on St. Urho's Day - a celebration of Finnish heritage, good luck, and grape juice!
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March 16
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Introduction

Get ready to celebrate St. Urho's Day on March 16, a holiday that combines Finnish and Irish traditions for a fun and unique celebration! According to legend, St. Urho was a brave hero who drove away grasshoppers from Finland's grape crops and saved them from starvation. This day is now celebrated with parades, feasting, and wearing the colors of purple and green – representing the grapes and grasshoppers respectively. So put on your best purple and green outfit and join in on the festivities!

History of St. Urho’s Day

St. Urho’s Day Dates

St. Urho’s Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1950s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Origin of The Legend</div><div class='timeline-text'>During the 1950s, Richard Mattson, a Minnesotan, creates the character of St. Urho, who is said to have chased the grasshoppers out of ancient Finland, saving the grape crops.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1956</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Mention in Newspaper</div><div class='timeline-text'>St. Urho was first referenced in print by Sulo Havumäki in 1956, another Minnesotan, who published an "Ode to St. Urho" in the Mesabi Daily News.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1970s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Official Celebration</div><div class='timeline-text'>The first official celebration of St. Urho's Day took place in Minnesota during the 1970s, marked by festivities that included wearing the colors royal purple and nile green.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1975</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Statue to St. Urho</div><div class='timeline-text'>Menahga, Minnesota erects a statue honoring St. Urho in 1975.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1980s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Spreading to Canada</div><div class='timeline-text'>By the 1980s, St. Urho's Day celebrations had spread to parts of Canada, particularly amongst Finnish communities.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>Present</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Continued Celebrations</div><div class='timeline-text'>Today, St. Urho's Day is celebrated widely across the United States, particularly in communities with Finnish heritage.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate St. Urho’s Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a parade</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Many cities and towns hold parades to celebrate St. Urho's Day. Find one near you and enjoy the colorful floats, music, and marching bands.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Wear purple and green</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Purple and green are the traditional colors of St. Urho's Day. Show your spirit by dressing in these colors from head to toe.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Cook a Finnish meal</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>St. Urho is a legendary Finnish saint, so why not honor him by cooking a traditional Finnish meal? Look up some recipes online and try your hand at making dishes like kalakukko or karjalanpiirakka.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Learn about Finnish culture</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take some time to learn about Finnish customs, traditions, and history. You can impress your friends with your newfound knowledge at the St. Urho's Day celebration.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Create a vineyard</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>One of the most famous legends surrounding St. Urho is that he saved the grapes in Finland by driving away a plague of grasshoppers. Plant your own mini vineyard in honor of this heroic feat and enjoy some delicious wine on St. Urho's Day.</p></div></div>

Why We Love St. Urho’s Day

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a unique and quirky holiday</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>St. Urho's Day is a holiday that celebrates the Finnish legend of St. Urho, a man who supposedly chased away a plague of grasshoppers and saved the grape harvest. It's a fun and offbeat holiday that allows people to embrace their Finnish heritage or just join in on the festivities!</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a celebration of spring</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>St. Urho's Day is traditionally celebrated on March 16th, which is right around the start of spring. It's a great way to kick off the season and say goodbye to winter. Plus, it's a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather!</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>There are fun traditions and activities</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>On St. Urho's Day, people often wear purple and green, the colors associated with the holiday, and participate in parades and other festivities. Some towns even hold grape stomping competitions! It's a day full of laughter and good times with friends and family.</p></div></div>

5 Unexpected St. Urho's Day Celebration Facts

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>St. Urho's Day Precedes St. Patrick's Day</h3><p class='facts-content'>Observed a day before St. Patrick's Day on March 16, St. Urho's Day offers a unique combination of Finnish and Irish traditions that are celebrated in harmony.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Distinct St. Urho's Day Chant</h3><p class='facts-content'>Celebrants traditionally shout St. Urho's Day chant, "Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen" (Grasshopper, grasshopper, go from hence to Hell) in Finnish during the celebrations.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>St. Urho’s Day is a Non-Canonical Saint’s Day</h3><p class='facts-content'>Despite its popularity among Finnish-Americans, St. Urho is not officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church since the legend is a recent invention.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Minnesota Governor Proclaimed St. Urho’s Day</h3><p class='facts-content'>In 1975, Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson officially proclaimed March 16 as St. Urho's Day in the State of Minnesota.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Holiday has a Flag</h3><p class='facts-content'>A St. Urho's flag designed by Gene McCavic and Richard Mattson has three equal horizontal bands of royal purple, nile green, and royal purple representing royal purple for St Urho's royal lineage and nile green for the grasshoppers.</p></div></div>

St. Urho’s Day FAQs

When is St. Urho’s Day?

St. Urho’s Day is celebrated on March 16 every year. In 2024, St. Urho’s Day will occur on a Saturday.

St. Urho’s Day Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Mar 16

Thursday

2024

Mar 16

Saturday

2025

Mar 16

Sunday

2026

Mar 16

Monday

2027

Mar 16

Tuesday

Cause Holidays