Monday, July 27, 2009

National sleepy head day

Today, believe it or not, has been Finlands National Sleepy Head Day!

Yes.. on 27th of July, there is an annual event for it too... held down south in Naantali (nearer to Turku and Helsinki regions broadly speaking..)

I don't know the history of this event, how it came to be... but Unikeonpäivä as it is called in Finnish, celebrates the lazy, sleepy person of the house!! Tradition has it that the last person to get up, should be dowsed with water... preferably by dumping them into a large body of water...better the local river or the sea if nearby. Preferably not a ditch I would imagine! Failing that, having water thrown at them is the next best thing. That person then gets called the lazy or sleepy one (or both perhaps) all day! (Weird eh?)

Having read a little online it is apparently based on the story of the Saints of Ephesus who slept in a cave for some 200 years during the Middle Ages whilst hiding from persecution by Decius, the Roman Emperor at the time. How that translates to chucking someone in a river I do not know!

In the city of Naantali a person of note or a celebrity is chosen every year to be to person who is thrown in the sea at the port. Believe it or not, this happens at 7 a.m! Doesn't sound like much of a lie in to me! Afterwards there are many parties and celebrations that go on long into the day. It's become a real family event! It was covered today on and the person chosen to be the sleeper was the West Finland county governor - Rauno Saari. Here is his picture from the Yle site.

Funny eh? The sleepers identity is kept secret until the event starts and generally they will have done some charitable or beneficial works for the city to be chosen. Perhaps we should start this off in Sodankylä? I can think of a few people I wouldn't mind suggesting as the sleeper!! (Wicked Witch of a grin!)

The last person up today from this household was Lazy Jake, so he had a bit of a sprinkling.. but I was lenient! It is the summer holiday after all... not that he smiled about my lenience! :D

I am sorry that I myself have been blog quiet for the last few weeks.. I promise I have NOT been asleep! :D What with working full time I have been rather busy of late... plus my Mother came to visit from the UK for a couple of weeks.... more on that later.

You can read more in Finnish at this link:

Plus a little here in English:

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