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Christmas straw

In Finland straw was customarily spread on the floor for Christmas day. This symbolized the stable and manger where Jesus lay after being born. But it was also a
pagan custom to ensure the crop of next summer, known also in Slavic countries. Thus here we see the Christian rationalizing again when accepting the old and difficult-to-remove folk customs. Many Christmas decorations were (and are) made from straw, too. Most notably the so-called himmeli (an intricate straw mobile hung from the ceiling) and straw goats big and small. Straw sheafs were prepared for cattle and birds.


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