The Legend of St. Urho

Each year on March 16th, Finnish Americans celebrate St. Urho's Day. The holiday is based on a legend out of Minnesota which claims that this would-be saint chased the grasshoppers out of Finland, thus saving the grape crop. So to one-up the Irish, the Finns don the holiday colors of purple and green (grapes and grasshoppers) and celebrate.

According to the local legend, one of the grasshoppers escaped and made it's way to Kaleva. Today it is found on the Sculpture Walkway along Walta Street. There is is anchored, 500 pounds and 18 feet of recycled metal, crafted by Andy Priest and the Service Learning students of Brethren High School in 2000.

The famous quote: 

Grasshopper, Grasshopper, Go away is chanted in Finnish: "Heinisirka, heinisirka, mine talta iiten" - in effort to keep the crops safe this gigantic insect. More than a pest, the grasshopper is a favorite photo op and many visitors stop to take advantage of that.

We have a St. Urho Day celebration annually, where you can stop at the Kaleva Art Gallery and check out the St. Urho's Bake Sale, and purchase goodies fashioned in purple and green, grasshopper cookies and lots of Finnish bread or nissau

To learn more about the Centennial Sculpture Walkway, click here.

© 2020 by THE KALEVA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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Location:

Kaleva, Michigan