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Ethnicity and Community: Laskiainen in Palo, Minnesota

In early February each year, in the small rural community of Palo in northern Minnesota's Iron Range region, hundreds of people gather for traditional Laskiainen festivities. The word Laskiainen literally means "sliding downhill" For the Finns in northern Minnesota, it is more than simply a winter sliding festival; it is a time to share traditions and memories and take pride in their Finnish heritage.

Laskiainen was brought to the Iron Range by Finnish immigrants in the late 1800s. It was originally a pre-Lenten or Shrovetide celebration. In Finland and in northern Minnesota, Finns have also considered it a celebration of the lengthening of ...

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