Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kauneimmat Joululaulut 2008 Sodankylässä ( Beautiful Christmas Carols in Sodankylä )

It's been a bit of a busy week with the Arctic Rainbow business online, as you can imagine - what with the rapid roll up to Christmas, so I am again - a bit behind with the blog! I will have another two items to blog about over the do come back again soon!

Last sunday I managed to go to the local church Christmas service. I wasn't sure that I'd make it as I have been rough after the flu, with a terrible cough and voice! In fact I still have it!

This service was held at the new church in Sodankylä, (as opposed to the old wooden church that I blogged about in the summer. That church is only ever open in the summer). This is the real community church (Evangelist Lutheran) which whilst being the 'new' church, was actually built as the replacement to the wooden church.. in 1859!! You wouldn't think it was that old though.. it is in very good shape!
It's a Finnish link naturally, but you can see more pictures by clicking on 'valokuvia' (pictures)!

It was a beautiful COLD and snowy night, as ever!

I went along with a few friends. Minna and Sari are both Finnish - so have been there many times before, but for myself, Sally (a fellow Englishwoman) and Amel (who is Indonesian) was a first time Christmas event there (despite the fact that it was NOT our first Christmas in Sodankylä!) I was curious to know what I would be able to understand in Finnish.. and the answer was about 30% of the spoken as we were sitting at the back of the church, despite it not been a packed house. Also the lady priest wasn't holding back - as the service was really for Finns...but I understood a lot more of the carols! So, that was pleasing!

I certainly miss an English Christmas service and the light upbeat nature, the well known carols. There were a few songs that I sang, not knowing the tune but trying to follow along singing quietly and trying NOT to cough! There was one that was a Finnish version, to the tune of Silent Night.. so that was good.

The carol below was one of my favourites...Heinillä härkien kaukalon nukkuu lapsi viaton (roughly translated as: On the Bulls bed of hay...sleeps the infant innocently).

However nice, it just wasn't the same and when we got to the last tune, everyone was rustling in their seats in what I presumed was excitement. So, I considered that this might be the big favourite uplifting song I was hoping for... sadly..not. Well, not for me anyway! Although Maa on niin kaunis (The countryside is SO beautiful) has lovely lyrics.

A really nice little illustrated booklet was handed out to all too.. as you can see! Entitled Kauneimmat joululaulut 2008. (Beautiful Christmas carols/songs 2008).

It was definitely another nice way to remember that Christmas is upon us soon.. and I am glad that I went. I am planning to go to another event nearer to Christmas, at a different location too. Of course you will hear all about it.