“Paavo’s Day tomorrow has been an important milestone for the winter. It was said that Paavo is the best part of winter, as the days are brighter, and people can enjoy the shining sun reflecting from the pure white snow.
Paavo’s Day was considered the centre of winter, by the time which half of the snow had fallen and half of the animal food consumed. The week following Paavo was called ‘talvennapa’ (winter’s centre), and the Wednesday of that week was referred to as the mid-winter Wednesday.
On Paavo’s Day the sun shines her light even to the “back of the sleigh”. It was said that if the sun shone brightly throughout the day – or at least so long that man could harness his horse – it would be a good year for grain and the spring would be beautiful. Brightness also predicted good pea harvest, and pea soup was traditionally eaten in south-western Finland on Paavo’s Day.
If people didn’t have the soup ingredients, they went to the neighbour asking for “Paavo’s peas” and pig’s trotters. Rich families paid for these, but poorer people got them for free. Generosity brought good luck to the house, as it also did on other feasts, and ensured the pea harvest would succeed in the coming summer.
If there was snowfall on Paavo so that the sleigh tracks on the ground were covered; flax, hemp, tobacco and potato would not grow well. Yet in other predictions, some snowfall on Paavo predicts good harvest, at least for pea. If it snowed so much that straws were covered, the year would be bad and unlucky.
Although the days are already brighter around Paavo, the weather can hardly be called warm. People talked about “Paavo, the friend of frost, snotty nose, the beard covered with ice”. It was also said that if the weather wasn’t cold on Paavo, the summer would be no good and harvest would fail. On the other hand, Paavo’s warm southern wind at least predicted a good berry season.
Translation: Anssi A.”
Source: Suomenusko FB page