Finnish Independence Day, Kalevala, Lake city, Lohja, Lohja 700, Lohjan Pyhän Laurin kirkko, seeds, St. Lawrence church, Suomi 100, uusimaa, vanha talo suomi
I’ve been reminded a couple of times since early February that this year is a big one for our town, Lohja. And quite frankly, when you think about it, 700 years IS
a big deal REMARKABLE! You read that right! 700 years old!! You might remember back a few years ago when I might have mentioned celebrating Finland’s 100th Independence Day – – THAT was a big deal too, let me tell you! Lots of commemorative programs throughout the country. Many examples to mark the occasion took place in beautiful garden displays in nearly every community. There were special events throughout the entire year of 2017, culminating in a special commemorative Independence Day ceremony to mark the 1917-2017 event.
Independence Day for many of us has become something, much less commemorative, much less about sacrifice and national pride, and celebrating the hard won joy of Independence. Instead, for many, Independence Day has somehow become just a day to BBQ and see a fireworks show. Possibly, a day-off from work. I don’t know much about anything, but I think what Finland is doing, and has done, is pretty darned amazing.
I’m so thrilled to be living here. It’s really tantalizing to think about Lohja 700 years ago. In some cases, and for some people, it might be impossible to even imagine what that would have been like. Thankfully, for us here in Lohja, getting an idea of what it would have been like is not so impossible at all! Thanks in part to the St. Lawrence church located right in the middle of the town! Yep, we have our very own medieval church sitting right there, still going strong since it’s founding in the early 1200’s. Open every day and remarkably fantastic – have a look
The city of Lohja put together a special website which has a lot of information available for those seeking more information about the 700-year anniversary. Unfortunately, after I spent a little time there looking around, I got a little frustrated with the website. NOT the most user-friendly, NOT in English, and NOT the fastest-loading. But, it was an effort put forward, so let’s be glad there was an attempt made!
For those now thinking to avoid the website, let me break down a few of the juiciest and most note-worthy bits. Thank google for the wonky, but probably intentional Finglish translations!
LOHJA 700 – https://mylohja.fi/lohja-700/
This city of people who enjoy life is close, but far from noise and stress. You could say that we were created for a double life. We enjoy the seductions of the city with roots deep in nature like Paavola’s oak. After the swimming trip, we stop by a lovely café, restaurant, theater or concert. As pleasure-seeking creatures, we can’t decide whether to be city dwellers or country dwellers, but we pick the sweetest apples from both pies.
They call us urban country people. That’s the way we are from the big city, that we don’t bother each other’s doings, but here you can freely realize yourself exactly as you are. Lohja is an urban window to the Finland of thousands of lakes. Our laid-back city has stealthily become one of Finns’ most popular holiday destinations in the south. After all, Lohja is much closer than Tuscany and more authentic than the Canary Islands.
Many come to Lohja to camp, but stay to live. That seems to have also happened to the ancient patrons, who built handsome mansions for our pleasure. They are fine to eat and spend the night in. Lohjanjärvi is the largest (lake) in Uusimaa, but by no means the only one in Lohja. Can you believe we have 200 lakes here? They can be enjoyed in a million ways: swimming, rowing, sailing, kayaking or even trolling for pike. Whatever you do, you can do it with peace of mind, because Lohja is clean. Our water is filtered through our ridge that belongs to Salpauselkä and is so good that it is even good enough for the table in Hong Kong.
Even though we are Mother Nature’s playthings, in our stubbornness we have been going through the gray stone for hundreds of years (mining). Finland’s mining industry originates from Lohja. We mountain men have had 16 wells here, about which we can tell a thousand stories at a depth of one hundred meters in Tytyri.
Thanks to our hedonistic nature, every day is chalk day for us. Since we once toiled underground with sweat on our foreheads, we speak briefly and omit unnecessary letters from the words. Unhurried enjoyment creates space for thinking. Maybe that’s why the villages of Lohja attract celebrities. The presidents relax on the shores of Karjalohja and Kalevala’s father was Sammati’s son. The attack of Kaleva’s eves continues today also in the witty minds of local wordsmiths and musicians. So the Lohja apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree, and it couldn’t, because there are so many apple trees here.
The recreationalist lives his dream in Lohja, because hobbies, schools, events and culture, yes also the theater and the city orchestra, can be found in our home. Many people come here from far away to bike, ride or hike, because the terrains are the best in the country. Lohja is not only a city of people who enjoy life, but also of people who give birth, and its maternity department is world-class. Companies sail with the wind on Lohjanjärvi, because Lohja’s coordinates are perfect: the airport can be reached quickly and there is a comfortable supply of qualified crew. The forest, metal, plastic and electronics industries sail here on the crest of the wave.
When we look into the future from the top of the ridge, we see Lohja as the home port of the bioeconomy and experience industry. And because it’s always a little warmer in the south of Finland, our boat’s batteries are charged by the sun. Enjoying life and apple juice with full sips, we welcome you and a sunny future in three languages Lohja – Lojo – Yolo!
Yes, I realize it’s now March – there’s much anticipation and planning underway while I still have free-time to do so. But come April, the ball will officially get rolling and all my efforts will be to put towards making those dreams and ideas come to life.
Thank goodness for early ordering! I have been my usual self and got ahead of the ball even before I’m supposed to be getting ahead of the ball, and have once again gotten everything ordered with lots of time to spare! I even brushed aside my misgivings of vowing to never bother planting seeds again. In doing that, I’ve now commandeered the entire aula, which now looks more like a mini greenhouse than it does an upstairs landing! 😀 Before seeds could get planted, I had to clean the aula which has held lots of our unused furniture and stuff we really should have discarded years ago. After cleaning out this space, it was the cleanest it’s been EVER – but that was before I set all those seeds trays down and like I said, it’s a mini greenhouse in there now! ugh
So far, so good. I might have actually learned something after watching those thousands of hours of YouTube videos. But maybe not enough. Because if I was really mastering this seed thing, I wouldn’t have been the dope that I am when it comes to getting the ball rolling too soon, by starting my seeds in January! Sometimes, sometimes! ugh. A truly (smh) moment. 😀
What I’m really looking forward to is my April rose order arriving from Germany -18 items!. This week has been once again mild with plus temperatures, next week is throwing us some cold weather to dampen the spring fever vibes. I guess it’s going to be that way, probably until it isn’t. While I’m not really looking forward to all the tasks that spring-cleaning entails, they are things that have to get done. And once done, then it’s a bit of smooth sailing.
Hope this post finds you well. Hopefully, your spring season gets underway more on the soonish, rather than the later side. More on what’s happening here at Vanha Talo Suomi coming soonish! (I hope!)
You have so very much to be proud of! I look forward to seeing those roses…
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Thank you, Pam!
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