“Virvon varvon tuoreeks, terveeks, tulevaks vuodeks, vitsa sulle, palkka mulle!”
–Finnish children’s chant on Palm Sunday
In Finland on Palm Sunday children dress as witches and knock at neighboring doors while carrying pussy willow branches which are sometimes bedecked with feathers. If the door is opened they pronounce a blessing rhyme and leave a branch as a gift, while receiving sweets in return.
Roughly translated the chant goes like this:
“I’m wishing you a fresh, healthy upcoming year, a branch for you, a prize for me!”
It really can’t be rendered in English for there’s a playfulness in the rhyming, like saying, “Hinx Minx, the old witch stinks….” We English speakers have no way to rhyme health, happiness and reciprocal gifting.
But this is what I’m wishing you.