Finland Witches at the door on Palm Sunday

 These little witches have good intentions. Image: Lehtikuva

On Palm Sunday, many  Finn answers a knock at the door, only to be confronted by miniature witches ready to exchange a decorated willow twig and wishes of health and prosperity for some sweets.

The Palm Sunday tradition is called "virpominen" in Finnish and is superficially reminiscent of the Halloween custom of trick-or-treat found in some countries.

In Finland, though, tradition calls for children to dress as witches and to decorate twigs of pussy willow with coloured feathers and bits of coloured paper. There is a set-piece rhyme spoken while waving a twig in which the children express wishes of health for the coming year, and offer to exchange the twig for a "reward".

The reward is sweets, which at this time of year most often means chocolate Easter eggs.

The custom has its roots in Orthodox Karelia, but mixed with a seasonal witch and spirits tradition from Finland's west coast.

Sources: YLE News

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websits. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.

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