Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Peace - Joulu Rauha

Every year on Christmas Eve, peace is proclaimed in Turku.

The proclamation is read in Finnish and Swedish to the assemble multitudes:

Tomorrow, God willing,
is the graceful celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour;and thus is declared a peaceful Christmas time to all, by advising devotion and to behave otherwise quietly and peacefully,because he who breaks this peace and violates the peace of Christmas by any illegal or improper behaviour shall under aggravating circumstances be guilty and punished according to what the law and statutes prescribe for each and every offence separately.

Finally, a joyous Christmas feast is wished to all inhabitants of the city.

If it sounds is! Turku has been declaring Christmas Peace since the Middle Ages. You can listen to the Christmas Peace here.

We are having a peaceful time at home. Soon we will leave for church. Sophie will ring and sing and speak in the pageant. I will sing in the choir. And tomorrow we will break the Christmas Peace by flying to the antipodes--summer in Argentina with our far-flung family.

Last year we were preparing for our five months in Finland. We arrived in Turku on December 28. We have been home longer than we were there and we still miss it. I hope to hear the Christmas Peace in person one year and, if I am very good, I hope to have a Christmas Sauna one day too.

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