You are always welcome at the monthly programs! Activities include Finnish and Finnish-American topics and a social hour. FACA meets at 7:00 p.m. on the third Friday of each month from September to May (except December). Meetings are held at the International Institute of Minnesota, 1649 Como Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108
The Institute is located about 1/4 mile west of the intersection of Snelling and Como Avenues and across from the Minnesota State Fair grounds.
**We are currently only meeting virtually via Zoom. Welcome!**
Oppitunti – Finnish Conversation Group
Tervetuloa (welcome) to everyone interested in learning or practicing their Finnish, whether they are beginners or accomplished speakers. Tuesdays, noon – 1:30 p.m. For more information, please call Urho Rahkola at (651) 429-3319.
Joulu – Magical Finnish Christmas
FACA joins with other Twin Cities Finnish organizations to present a multifacted community event featuring traditional food, music, a tori (market), films and other activities. Admission is free and everyone is welcome (you don’t have to be Finnish American, Finnish, or a member of any group). Usually the event takes place on an early Saturday in December.
Festival of Nations
FACA participates each May in this Twin Cities celebration of the many cultural backgrounds of immigrants to Minnesota. The event takes place in the St. Paul Civic Center. Typically, FACA offers the Finnish Cafe serving delicious, authentic food and an exhibit booth addressing the Festival theme in a Finnish fashion.
Laskiainen! The Sliding, Pea Soup, Flax Magic, Celebration
“Spinning wheels, busy all winter, are put away at Laskiainen. FACA celebrates this holiday each year with a pea soup supper, sometimes with authentic Finnish historical information, sometimes with a modern game of “Finnish Jeopardy.” We also present the Sauna Bucket award to an outstanding FACA volunteer.
Laskiainen is Finland’s celebration marking seven weeks before Easter. It marks the coming of spring and increasing daylength. Pea soup is traditionally eaten as Finns believed eating heavy foods would guarantee a good crop the following year. Buns filled with almond paste or jam and whipped cream are also traditional. It also marked the start of the long fast of Lent.
In southern Ostrobothnia, pannukakkua or kropsua (oven pancake) is served. Shrove Tuesday pancakes are a traditional food in much of Europe.
In modern times, it’s a celebration marked by pea soup, sledding and other outdoor activities. Sledding is connected to flax spinning as Laskiainen marked the end of the flax spinning season. Spinning wheels had to be put away and the looms set up as only weaving was permitted during Lent. It was believed that whoever had the longest sled ride down a hill would grow the longest flax fiber.