Time for a Heikki Lunta snow dance?

So you want some snow at your house?

You desire more of the thick white sparkling beautiful snow adorning your evergreens and freshening your winter blues?

We Yoopers (residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula or the “U.P.”) know how to get snow.

Here is the secret.

You ask the Snow God, Heikki Lunta, for some of the white stuff.

Then you strap on your snowshoes or find your skis–and you’re off into an amazing winter world!

Just listen to this YouTube song by a Yooper group Conga Se Menne which talks about Heikki Lunta showing up for a sauna.   While your listening, check out photos of what a “normal” winter looks like around here.  This winter is definitely not “normal”.

References from the song, just in case you don’t understand da local lingo:

Conga Se Menne:  A popular Yooper band with a reggae beat.  ANYTHING is possible in this day and age!

Heikki Lunta—  A Finnish Snow God character who originated in the mythology of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Way back in 1970, snowmobile racers at the Range Snowmobile Club wanted snow for the race.   David Riutta created the Heikki Lunta song which aired on a local radio station asking the Finnish snow god for enough white stuff.

According to local tales, the snow fell and fell, until there was too much. People were superstitious that Riutta’s song had caused too much snow for the race, so in response to public outcry, Riutta recorded a separate track entitled, “Heikki Lunta Go Away.”

Blogger’s note:  I kid you not.

Oulu Hotshots:  A Finnish-American band from Oulu, Wisconsin.  Oulu, as everyone knows, was named after a city in northern Finland.

Blogger’s note:  There are a LOT of Finns here in Michigan’s U.P.

the “t” sound”:  In all good Yooper Finnish songs, one does not pronounce the “t” sound in words like “that’s” and “them”.  Instead, one says “dat’s” and “dem”.

Blogger’s note:  Try talking like this for an hour.

Sauna:  You’ve all been to da sauna, right?  As we all know, da sauna is a traditional Finnish steam/heat  bath.  Around here it is pronounced:  sow’ na.  Not saw’ na.  Please do not pronounce it saw’ na.  Blogger’s note:  Here is a blog I wrote about da sauna.

Raatikka:  A type of Finnish dance.  So they say.  Your blogger has never heard of it.

Makaraa:  The Finnish word for sausage.

Aili:  A common Finnish woman’s name.  Your blogger knows one woman named Aili.

Da Yoopers:  a popular regional band who also has there own Heikki Lunta song.

Viilia:  Clabbered milk product of–you guessed it–Finnish origin.

Yooper:  We already covered this.  Upper Peninsula residents.

Trenary Toast:  a commercially produced dried cinnamon toast product commonly called hardtack. It is exported from the region for expatriate Yoopers to purchase.   Blogger’s note:  I often bring Trenary Toast to my parent’s condo in Florida for a native Yooper to dunk in her coffee.

Ontonagon:  a town a couple of hours west of here, on the far western edge of da Copper Country.

Copper Country:  What they call the area where we live, due to the copper mining industry which once ruled here.  Well, we’re really on the far eastern edge.  Ontonagon is on the far western edge.

OK, readers, everybody outside now and snow dance!   (Let me know if it works.  If it’s still not snowing after an hour–keep dancing at regular intervals until Monday.)

P.S.  Some Yooper must have boogied Heikki Lunta last night.  We got 5-6 inches of new snow–just enough to cover all that treacherous ice.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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48 Responses to Time for a Heikki Lunta snow dance?

  1. I am definitely all over this! I need to get praying. Only, I have no snow shoes or skis. Does that matter?

  2. pattibrehler says:

    Awesome! Years ago a group of us at Kwagama Lake (way north of the Soo in Canada) tried every snow dance we could think of…too bad we didn’t know the Heikki Lunta song! But, I’m going to try it now–VERY disappointing winter for us Trolls, too.

  3. Brenda Hardie says:

    What a fun post this morning! Gosh I don’t have snowshoes or skis either….hmm…would snow boots work the same? 😀 It’s a freezing cold day here…the temperature is at 10 but the windchill is at 5 below and will get lower as the day goes on and the wind picks up. No sign of snow in the forecast, so maybe a dance is in order! Naaa…I think I’ll skip the snow and let all you Yoopers have it this year 😀
    Thanks for the glossary of local words…some I’ve heard of, others I have not so it was good to take in a lesson this morning.
    Fun fun fun!

    • Kathy says:

      Did you get some snow? A wee bit? Heikki Lunta says it’s inevitable. You Minnesotans can’t escape the rest of winter without some of the White Stuff.

  4. Must be working…we’re expecting between 1 and 3 inches today 🙂

  5. Hilarious! We are enjoying our virtually snow-free winter here in Southern Ontario. No snow gods need apply 🙂

  6. pattibrehler says:

    Update here in Ogemaw County–it’s working! Yay!

  7. Fountainpen says:

    Hey, Kathy and UP dwellers! Did you know that you
    can get a ringtone of the Heikki Lunta, the Finnish Snow God song
    for your cell phone! It is true!!!!!

    I mean, what next!!??


  8. Heather says:

    I wish I had known of this dance sooner 😉 We’ve got about 2 inches, which might be enough to make my downhill habit possible to enjoy this afternoon. I’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, congrats on getting that ice covered!

    • Kathy says:

      Heather, Heikki didn’t want to tell you about this sooner. He wanted to wait until mid-winter. He’s glad you now know. He hopes you enjoy flying down that hill and knows you won’t crash into the fence at the bottom.

  9. Carol says:

    “way back in 1970”? OMG! I remember the 70s like they were yesterday! Now I feel far too old to even try to walk in snow, much less do a dance to cause it.
    Besides which, I’d rather have rain? Do you have dance, chant, ritual for rain?

    • Kathy says:

      Heikki wished Kathy hadn’t typed “way back in the 1970’s” because Heikki thinks that was yesterday, too. Heikki says just go outside and dance, thinking about the way rain feels. He says that will work just as well.

  10. anaturalfire says:

    i miss the UP and enjoy getting a taste of it from your blog!

  11. Dana says:

    Too fun, Kathy! I’ll have to try it. 🙂

  12. Hmmmm . . . I wonder if we could get this to work in Arizona. 😉

  13. john says:

    Unbeknownst to me, when I stepped on that screw that was left over from fixing my computer, my jumping and twisting must have been the Heikki Lunta dance. We were talking about to swapping out our winter coats for our spring jackets yesterday and today the ground in Illinois is white and it has been falling steady since noon.

    P.S. I heard a rumor that George’s on Main St closed … any truth?

    • Kathy says:

      Hasn’t George’s been closed forever?

      I am 92.5% sure that it’s closed, John.

      Please do not grieve.

      I am glad Heikki visited you Way Down Under. We had 5-6 inches. AND IT’S DARN COLD!!!!

  14. Dawn says:

    You all can stop dancing now…we got our inch and that’s enough for us Trolls down here.

    PS: I’m getting homesick reading all these Yooper words. sigh.

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  16. Sybil says:

    I danced too damn fast and now it’s pissing rain.

    BTW — When a Finn dies, is he Finnished ?

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, by golly you are HYSTERICAL! I love your comments. Errr, um, jokes… Do people start giggling when they see you walking down the street? (I have 3 people in my life who do. Plus others who don’t even think I’m funny one bit. 😦 )

  17. Colleen says:

    Not sure if he’s ever been to our house, at least where we live now. And it’s impossible to imagine how anyone could not appreciate and adore that wonderful sense of wit and humor…… listening in on your conversation with Sybil 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Colleen, I always love it when I pause to think of you–and two minutes later, here you are with your reading & commenting Presence. (Glad you enjoyed the conversation with Sybil. Aren’t the comment sections like interactive mini-blogs?)

  18. Reggie says:

    I was chuckling and humming all the way through that song, while bopping along to its incredibly catchy rhythm! Sooo FUNNY!

    THANK YOU for making me smile today, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Doesn’t it have a catchy reggae beat? (Very odd for a reggae band to sing about the Upper Peninsula, don’t you think?) Glad you grinned today, Reggie. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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