When is Halloween in Finland in year 2015, and most importantly; when it should be celebrated?
I’m not the first google searcher. This year the American Halloween is on Saturday 31.10.2015, and Finnish Pyhäinpäivä (All Saints’ Day) is at the same day. American All Hallows’ Day is then on 1.11.2015.
This year it is quite clear that most celebrations take place on Saturday in Finland, even though schools and work places may celebrate already on Friday. This year Pyhäinpäivä takes place at the same day as American Halloween. Most Finns tend to celebrate the Halloween on All Saint’s Day, which happens here always on Saturday, and it is public holiday from work for most Finnish people. (You should also notice that because it is a free day from work, most shops and stores will be closed on Saturday. Bars and restaurants will be open.)
The date of the Halloween in Finland is not this easy every year. Finnish Pyhäinpäivä is located always on Saturday, that takes place between 31.10.–6.11. of each year. So if the anglo-saxon Halloween happens in the middle of the week (as it is always 31.10.), then Finnish Pyhäinpäivä can be several days later.
But long story short, 2015 Halloween can be celebrated on Finnish “real” eve of the All Saints’ Day on Friday 30.10, or on Finnish Pyhäinpäivä / American Halloween on Saturday. Or maybe both 🙂
Most important Halloween Facts shortly:
– Originally “Halloween” was Samhain, Gaelic new year, and beginning of the winter and feast of the dead. Later Christianity included their own days of remembering the dead into the same celebration, and the festival transformed into All Saints’ Day or All Hallows’ Day.
– Anglo-Saxon countries celebrate their All Saints’ Day or All Hallows’ Day always on 1.11., so for them Halloween (named from All Hallows’ Eve, the night before the All Hallows’ Day) is always on 31.10. This year 2015 it is happening on Saturday. Halloween is the day when kids dress up and go from door to door trick-or-treating.
– Old Finnish agricultural celebration of the Autumn Harvest was called Kekri. It was celebrated any time the harvest was done in each village. In the 1800s the celebration settled to same time as Pyhäinpäivä took place in the church calendar, and the religious part of the day got more important than the autumn harvest. During the 1900s, Pyhäinpäivä was purely religious festival in Finland, when people went to take candles in the cemeteries to remember their dead and attend a church service. The eve of the Pyhäinpäivä has not been traditionally celebrated in any ways here. Halloween has just recently come to Finnish culture calendar during last few decades.
– Finnish Church combined two different Hallows into Pyhäinpäivä in year 1955, and confirmed that it should be celebrated on Saturday that takes place between 31.10. – 6.11. each year. 2015 Pyhäinpäivä is on 31.10., and the preceeding Friday 30.10. would be the definition of Finnish Halloween according to Finnish Church Calendar.