“WREATH with Red Berries”
Actually, it is not a ‘wreath’ – I’ve just made it look that – tis a branch of a tree! Take care n do keep well n swell. Rii xx
This particular Countdown for Christmas has been our special favourite for decades aka since it first appeared in the 1980’s in Ireland. We are known to quote parts of it at all seasons in our family.
Tis now for Rii xx
Photo: Riihele. All rights reserved.
“KAAMOS” Picture off the net with the makeover by Riihele.
This kind of bluish light does the whole world look like during the ‘daytime’ at Kaamos, The Polar Night, when the sun is asleep for a good few weeks in Lapland. In the mornings and the evenings the blue colours go into fabulous pinks, violets and purples. Absolutely stunning, so tis. Here are some links to photos, ecards and videos.
I have written before that I hail from Lapland right at the Swedish border where the Arctic Circle is. The area is called The Tornio Valley and here in this entry I am talking about My Childhood Memories of Lapland and here about the Clan Gathering we had in the village we come from in 2004.
The landscape in the Tornio Valley features varied countryside of both mountainous and flat landscapes. Tornio and Haparanda are situated on the coastal plain by the Gulf of Bothnia. Further north, from Övertorneå and the northern part of Ylitornio Municipality, the mountains become more prominent. The Arctic Circle is at the latitude of 66.55° N. It goes right through the villages of Ylitornio, on the Finnish side of the river, and Övertorneå, on the Swedish side. This latitude also marks the southernmost parallel at which one can experience the Polar Day, another name is the Midnight Sun and Polar Night, which is also called – Kaamos in the Saami language.
The Polar Day culminates on June 21, when the sun remains above the horizon for 24 hours – and it is light all day. On Aavasaksa mountain – situated on the Finnish side of the river in Ylitornio – one can admire The Midnight Sun between the 15.6-7.7. The Polar Night begins on September 23, at the autumnal equinox, which culminates on December 21, when the sun does not rise above the horizon for 24 hours – and it is dark all day. Talk about the TWILIGHT ZONE. During the Kaamos – the dark period – everything is in these fabulous shades of blues, pinks and lilacs. It is terribly picturesque altogether. I am quite certain, that you would have seen photographs of Lapland in these gorgeously soft pastel colours, even though it did not cross your mind at all, that they were taken during the Kaamos.
The first snow in my childhood used to come in September, so by the time the festive season arrived we had the cold, dark and snow for so long that it felt like ‘no big deal’! One sure sign that the xmastime was knocking at the door ready to arrive, were the reindeer that came to the valley down from the mountains to get food under the piles of snow.
These days Lapland is making a mint on the whole santa-business for the tourists flock there from all the corners of the world during the short and sharp festive period! Here is a link to what I mean.
We moved away from Lapland to the Southern Finland just a few days before the holidays; I must say that, that very xmas stands in my memory as the most miserable ever in my life!
When I am thinking back at my life in Lapland, it is these blues of light and the pinks, purples and lilacs that are so deeply imprinted into very core of my soul as you can well see with the shades of colours that I do keep this blog, that they are still there as vibrant as ever!
Tis for now Riihele xx.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YE ALL!
This door was the front door in my last home in Ireland. It was a town house – meaning it had no front garden just a patch for a back garden which at the time suited me perfectly as I was fed up of all the work that having a garden involves! This house came with a whole army of gardeners who did all the work for the gardens shared by all. Handy.
Many different nationalities passed through this door; the same happened in all of the front doors in my homes, the diverse nations wondered in and out in huge numbers. That is exactly what we liked and loved to do. No other way is it more enjoyable and, also, enlightening to meet the foreigners than right at your own front room. Sure, it asks an awful lot of one’s stamina, personality and character. In return it gives so much more than it takes so that it is not a hard task, rather the privilege.
My last Xmas – that turned out to be that – was spent in Ireland in the company of a diverse international bunch of people in this house. I had said to my ‘gang’ of students that they were welcome to my house to celebrate and if they knew any other orphans to take them with them. So it was. We were 22 (!) of which 19 stayed overnight!! It was fascinating to see just how differently each nationality celebrates this festival and some that do not at all – like the Chinese girls that came whom I had never met before.
Each nationality brought their own speciality foods and they were shared by all. I made several dishes of something typically Finnish – like the Roasted Ham and Swedish – the Glögg, the Mulled Wine, that is the most typical to me of the Swedish tradition. The Chinese girls brought their specially made Chinese home cooked food. Needless to say, it disappeared in an instant! The Italians brought many things but one that I hadn’t tasted before which was the Panettone.
The following morning while some continued to sleep – the fourteen awake ones of the gang sat together for a tasty breakfast – for the late risers, like myself – cum lunch for the early risers! This time of togetherness in my house stands still as one of my fondest memories of this house and of Ireland in general.
Tis for now until the next posting. Riihele xx.