One example of a tradition changed by the pandemic is the tradition of “virpominen”.
The Easter preparations for Palm Sunday include the decoration of a large amount of willow branches at homes with children. On Palm Sunday, children dress up as witches, bunnies or other animals and usually visit the homes of neighbors, friends and relatives to wish good fortune by blessing the families with the willow branches and telling a rhyme.
In return, kids get a chocolate egg or other kind of candy. This year, because of the pandemic, it has not been possible to visit other people’s homes, but other solutions have been born.
Many children made video calls to family members living even far away and renewing the tradition in that way. The parents could then give the chocolate eggs in return.
Some people also made a basket hanging from the window or balcony: kids could say the rhyme outside and then the willow and eggs were exchanged from a distance.
The tradition of “virpominen” is widely practised in Finland. In the Finnish National Inventory of Living Heritage there is an Orthodox version of the tradition, which is a bit different than the popular version combining virpominen with traits of the Halloween-tradition.
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