Returning of the Sun

Posted On January 15, 2012

Filed under holidays

Comments Dropped 5 responses

Yesterday was Talvennapa, and like the solstice, the first time in two years for me to celebrate it alone. I was looking forward to it all week, and then the day of, I happened to forget until I saw a message from Taivaannaula about it. As mentioned in the last entry, I was at work so I wasn’t able to celebrate it properly in the forest, but I did what I could. I went up Holy Hill a couple weeks ago, and it turns out that the only path up it is through a temple, and it closes at 19:00. But no matter. I lit some incense and said words to honor Kuu and Päivätar, already feeling a nice energy. Then I sang the song of Väinämöinen and the Great Oak, in Finnish. I started playing the kantele in Kalevala meter, along to each of the syllables, but then kind of got tired since the runo is so long. I stopped playing and just sang, but that didn’t feel quite right, so I decided to strum instead. The energy became very strong as I proceeded through the runo. I never felt that powerful of a feeling before. I guess because I had the actual words in front of me to say properly, rather than attempting to repeat what the ritual leader would say in years past. I would often only get half of the verse right or just mumble along. Since I wasn’t in the forest this time, I didn’t have an oak to “cut”, so I just envisioned one.

This holiday has always been special to me, because it was my first ritual ever in the Finnish pagan tradition. The couple of years that me and the local Taivaannaula group got together was a nice feeling. We always had a cookout way out in the wilderness, and there were mounds and mounds of pure white snow everywhere. Then last year, as I wrote, we did the walk across a frozen lake to an island where we held the ritual. Apparently this year in Finland is not so cold and snowy though, so that wouldn’t be possible again. The cycles of the year aren’t as noticeable here in Japan, but it still does get dark kind of early; just not nearly as early as it did in Finland. The leaves where I live also do not fall completely, which was shocking to me, because I’ve never lived in a place where they didn’t. At least there is occasionally snow (though it never sticks). But from now on, we can enjoy more and more of the sun coming back again.


5 Responses to “Returning of the Sun”

  1. Seppo

    I’m really happy to see that you’re continuing this blog, even now that you’re not in Finland anymore. I enjoy your posts.

    Also curious: what kind of kantele do you have?

  2. Christine

    Thank you! I bought my 5-string kantele from here:

  3. Seppo

    …I have another question you may be able to answer. I am applying for a fellowship to study in Finland during the summer and would like to be able to attend a Taivaannaula meeting. There are a number of universities to choose from. Which area of Finland would you recommend?

    • Christine

      I would recommend Eastern Finland. I think people are nicest in that area of Finland, and it is the land of the lakes, so it’s very beautiful. Plus, the Karhunpäivä event has been in Kuopio for the last few years.

      • Seppo

        Kiitos, this is helpful information! 🙂

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