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Finnish Pagan Religion

Doctrines In Finnish cosmolgy there are three realms - the Upperworld, the Lowerworld or Underworld, and the world of everyday consciousness - which are to be found on a World Tree similar to the Norse Yggdrasil (see Odinism, Asatru and the Northern Tradition). Some Finnish pagans believe that people's destinies are written inthe leaves of this tree, and that when a leaf falls, a person dies.
The major feast of the Finnish seasonal cycle is Ukon Vakat (Ukko's Day) in honour of the sky and thunder god Ukko; it is held on 4th April and celebrates the end of Spring ploughing. Modern Pagans in Finland have developed their own seasonal cycle which includes Ukko's Day. Rites are simple and are often conducted outdoors. In recent years, some Finnish pagans have merged their traditions with those of Wicca (see Witchcraft/Wicca), choosing to honour the Goddess Mielikki (Spirit of the Forest) and the God Tapio (Old Man or Lord of the Forest) as their principle deities.

History Due to the geographical proximity of Finland to Siberia and the nomadic way of life which prevailed until relatively recent times, Finnish Paganism has its roots in Shamanism, sharing many similar concepts - such as the honouring of ancestors, spirits of the land, and the elements of earth, air, fire and water - with Siberian and Arctic peoples.
Finland was a province of Sweden from the Twelfth Century, Christianised late, and annexed by Russia at the beginning of the 19th century. There was no written scripture among the Finno-Ugrian peoples, traditions being transmitted orally until they were written down in poetic form in the Kalevala ('Abode of Kalevala', a giant ancestor of humankind) and Kanteletar in the early nineteenth century. Elias Lohnrot, who compiled the Kalevala,wanted to revive the Finnish sense of national identity; it proved a great stimulus to Finnish nationalism and the revival of the Finnish language and is now the main source of Finnish mythology in the English-speaking world. The impact of the Kalevala is apparent from the fact that Kalevala Day (28th February) is now a Finnish national holiday.

Symbols Not known

Adherents No figures available

Main Centre
 None. Further information can be obtained from Kati-ma Koppana, The Hiidenkiru Finnish Pagan Network, Jakarlantie 8B10, 00940 Helsinki, Finland.