Learn traditional Finnish dances at the Heikinpäivä Family Fun Night

HOUGHTON – Throughout the month of January there are a plethora of events scheduled to celebrate Heikinpiv. One of those events is the Heikinpiv Family Fun Night, which will be taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Finnish American Heritage Center.

Kay Seppala will be leading the events Saturday night, which mainly consist of learning traditional Finnish song games, and said there will be a lot of movement involved.

“We do a lot of song games and traditional Finnish folk dances,” Seppala said. “There’s one dance called the goat dance, or Pukki – kids of all ages just love it.”

Also on tap at the event will be the traditional Raatikkoon.

Seppala said that if somebody can walk they can do the dances. Experience is not required to have a good time learning new dances.

“Little people who come will need a buddy to dance with, though,” Seppala said.

Despite the event being directed toward younger kids, Seppala is certain that anybody of any age can come and enjoy themselves and the dances.

“It is geared for elementary age children, but all ages are welcome,” Seppala said. “Everybody can get involved.”

Seppala said she learned these dances when she was visiting Finland.

“In Finland it’s popular to have a dance evening where dances are taught and that’s where I learned them,” Seppala said.

While Heikinpiv has been going for about 17 years, the Family Fun Night is currently in its third year. An event last year was not held.

If the weather holds out, Seppala said she expects between 30 and 80 people to show up for the event.

The admittance fee for each family is $5. While registration for the event isn’t necessary, it is encouraged and those who wish to do so may call 906-523-6271. Those who are looking for more information may also call the same number.