St. Urho Day Celebrated in Cloquet

Carlton County Historical Society Also Honored Finnish Families Who Survived 1918 Fires

CLOQUET, Minn. – March 16th is Saint Urho Day.

The holiday was invented in Virginia, Minnesota to celebrate the fictional Finnish Saint Urho.

According to the legend, Saint Urho chased the grasshopper out of Finland to save the grape crop.

Every year, fins honor their patron saint at the Carlton County Historical Society.

Olli Rahkola, a “true Finn” said “Grasshopper, grasshopper go away” in the Finnish language.

Even though Saint Urho wasn’t real, Finns spend his day celebrating their culture and history.

“It’s a fun day to get out and share the humor and some of the folklore that the fins share with one another,” said Ray Hatinen, a Finlander at the event.

This year’s program honored Finnish families who survived the 1918 fires that devastated communities like Moose Lake, Cloquet, and Kettle River.

“My grandparents had to run from their lives from their farmstead in Esko and my grandmother was less than five feet tall and she was six months pregnant with my dad,” said Hatinen.

His story and more like it were shared with the Historical Society audience.

Finnish-Americans celebrating Urho’s Day drink green beer a day before St. Patrick’s Day and wear purple and green clothing and accessories.



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