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Mikko’s Day - Finland

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Morgana Post number 25912 Posted: 29th September 2019     Subject: Mikko’s Day - Finland
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From Heidi:

October 29, is Mikko's Day, or Mikkeli, which was also called “Ram’s Day” in Southern Savonia. The latter name may be significantly older than the later Christian name.
The day marked the final end for harvest and herding.
It was said that Mikko’s Day is the gate of winter, and Vappu’s Day (May 1st) is the gate of summer.
Women began their chores inside the house and the last crops were harvested.
For servants, Mikko began historically began the “runtu week”, which was a week-long period of free time between service years.
During this week people held a lot of celebrations, meetings, dances and weddings.
Shepherds celebrated the end of herding season by burning bonfires.
Cattle needed to be in the winter shelter before sunset on Mikko’s Eve. Women, who were dressed in their best clothes, led the cattle inside in complete silence.
The hostess of the house was responsible for protecting the cattle for the winter season with her spells.
Men gathered the horses and took them to the winter shelter.

At least in some areas of Savo, the horses were took to the shelter through a protective gate made of branches.
On Mikkeli, people made sacrifices to spirits in order to guarantee the success of domestic animals, and to thank the spirits for the new year,
which would began during autumn. In the morning when the owner of the house first stepped outside, he breathed the air three times
and said: "The sky, wind, air, sea and the living being of the ground, Do not hate me, Or what is my own!"
After this, he carved some silver to the ground.
This was said to make the local spirits friendly to livestock and humans. In Viitasaari, nine drops of liquor and bread was sacrificed to the home guarding
by putting them into a pit in the cooking hut outside in the yard.
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