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When evenings darken in autumn, it’s time for a Moomin-style celebration. The garden or terrace is decorated with candles and lanterns. We invite friends over and share a few ‘snaps’ or aperitif vodka shots. Let the Crayfish Parties begin! Crayfish are peeled by hand and served with toast, dill, and lemon. It’s wonderfully messy finger food. Tables are covered with small bowls for rinsing fingers and red paper napkins to fit the theme. There is not much meat in crayfish, but the important thing is not the amount of food. It’s the shared fun of snaps glasses and drinking songs.
As the celebrators recover, it’s time for work to begin. Summer holidays end, and jobs, schools, and kindergartens reopen. We start new hobbies, new skills and enroll in different courses, or decide to shed those summer kilos by exercising. We settle back into the rhythm of everyday living, and appreciate filling breakfasts, home-cooked food, and family moments by the dining table.
The clear rhythm of the seasons and change of ingredients makes for rich flavors and interesting table settings. The warm and muted ‘ruska’ colours of autumn are favoured in table settings, such as: the yellow Arabia Tunturi, the terracotta Arabia Kalevala, and the moody Arabia Ruska. Even the wonderful new shades of Kastehelmi, combined with original production create an atmosphere of the 70s. The lovely gentle colours of Arabia Koralli bring a little softness to the moody atmosphere of late autumn.
Did you know that over the years, more than a thousand colour recipes for glass have been developed at the Iittala factory? Colours are the undisputed strength of Finnish tableware production. Iittala has developed tens of thousands of glass colours since the 1840s.
The image of a light, stylish Nordic home is true. But the delight of everyday life and the creation of a festive atmosphere relies on colours, which bring much-needed variation to the home. In the twilight of the cool evenings, we light candles in colourful candleholders and enjoy hot soup from deep plates or bowls, or evening tea from our favourite vintage cups with small pies on bread plates.
In the fall, the northern rugged nature truly offers its best. The forests are full of berries and mushrooms and anyone can go pick them! It’s a wonderful feeling when you find a beautiful yellow chanterelle by chance, and as you raise your gaze, you see lots more in clusters here and there. Personally, I love Chanterelle stew, Porcini soup and Mushroom salad. We let them stew in multifunctional enamel pots until they are super tasty and then serve from a variety of bowls.
You will find that popular Arabia vintage series are often decorated with autumn harvest foods. The whole family goes picking berries together, the little ones are given enamel mugs and the bigger ones gather blueberries, rowanberries, lingonberries and cloudberries by the bucket! The highlight of the weekend forest trip is of course a picnic lunch. The basket is packed with mugs, coffee and juice, sandwiches and sweet pastries. Back at home, fresh berries are sprinkled on porridge plates and cute ice cream bowls.
Of the fruit trees, the apple thrives best in northern Finland, while other varieties produce less. The red-cheeked apples make us smile. They are made into jams and juice for the winter. My own favourite delicacy is apple pie! Apple pie is eaten from a pretty cake plate, like the wonderful apple decoration in the Arabia Fructus series made by the Arabia Art Department. The delicious fresh drink is poured into tall juice glasses from a beautiful jug.
In autumn, Finnish food is at its most varied. The long summer nights have ripened into exceptionally tasty herbs and vegetables. The grain will be harvested in September and it’s reaping time is celebrated with the traditional harvest festival of Kekri! If you happen to have a farmer in your family, you are invited to come join the harvest work and the village’s harvest celebrations and dances. Autumn is also the best season for hunting and fishing. These are delicacies of the traditional food year. The star autumn cooking season’s table setting is a large soup tureen filled with the most mouth-watering game stew. Durable stoneware dishes are well suited for cooking and parties held outdoors.
The Autumn holidays in Finland are:
During the Autumn Equinox (approx. 23.9.) The night reaches the length of the day, and the days begin to feel quite short.
Nordic Cinnamon Roll Day (4.10) is perhaps the most delicious day of autumn?
On Aleksis Kivi's Day (10.10) we celebrate Finnish literature and books
On United Nations Day (24.10), we talk about international sustainable development
Winter Time begins (25.10) and Finns move their clocks back an hour so we can get the most out of daylight.
The ancient harvest festival Kekri, is celebrated in September-October in Eastern Finland. Visitors to Helsinki can experience the Suomenlinna Kekri celebrations, where they burn a ‘kekri goat’ statue made from hay (31.10).
All Saint’s Day (31.10–2.11) is our version of Halloween. Finns light candles on the graves of loved ones.
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