Celebrating Saint Urho – 3 Social Media Lessons

The legend of St Urho states that St. Urho drove away grasshoppers from Finland using the incantation “Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen!” (“Grasshopper, grasshopper, go from hence to Hell!”), thus saving the Finnish grape crops. This miracle is celebrated March 16th, right before St. Patrick’s Day.

There are statues, pubs, odes, books and large amounts of alcohol consumed in honor of St. Urho – mostly in Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Canada and even stretching back to Finland.

This legend is a complete fiction, concocted by Lutherans on the whole. Lutherans officially do not celebrate Saints, but do like to have some drinks, upstage their Catholic neighbors and often have a rather subversive sense of humor. If you have not lived in places where it gets very cold and stays that way for 7 to 9 months each year,  you may not appreciate the subtlety and dark side here.

The legend of St. Urho was the invention of a Finnish-American named Richard Mattson, who worked at Ketola’s Department Store in Virginia, Minnesota in spring of 1956. Mattson later recounted that he invented St. Urho when he was questioned by coworker Gene McCavic about the Finns’ lack of a saint like the Irish St. Patrick, whose feat of casting the snakes out of Ireland is remembered on St. Patrick’s Day. <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Urho#Saint_Urho” target=”_blank”>(Wikipedia)</a>

1. Not everything on the Internet is true – but people have been making things up for a long time before the digital information age.

2. Your celebration or business doesn’t have to be globally visible to be a huge success.
Does it reach your target market in your local area or does it reach ENOUGH people to be profitable and sustainable on a wider scale in a smaller niche? Success!

3. Get a jump on the big guys and have your party the day before.

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