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Picture: Susanne Nilsson/Flickr

In central England, three weeks ago the spring flowering bulbs were already in full bloom adding plentiful color to gardens and parks. Spring lambs were starting to frolic in the green fields and the birds were singing cheerily.  On Easter Sunday many families will gather for a traditional dinner of roast lamb and the churches may be slightly busier.  On Easter Monday some may contemplate a day trip to the seaside if the weather becomes warm and sunny.

Meanwhile, in Finland the birds have started to sing with vigor in the mornings and swans have returned to the west coast indicating spring cannot be far away.  However even in the south of Finland thermal spring has not yet arrived, we’ve had the Vernal Equinox and clocks whizzing forward to summer time but not yet a mean day-time temperature of over five degrees Celsius.

The Finnish weather forecasts mention this thermal spring a great deal, it is not a source of hot natural water, although it would be nice to have a few of those locally, it’s that temperature when greenery starts to consistently grow.

So, the date of the meteorological thermal spring is important for farmers who are keen to get crops planted as soon as possible because of the very short growing season. Unfortunately for farmers, the date at which this happens is often at the end of April.

Compared to living in the UK, we don’t miss much at Easter. We can get the lamb to eat but a joint of fresh lamb is very expensive. The shops have a grand selection of potted spring flowers and the garden ones will eventually appear. There’s also the custom to grow a nice green patch of grass indoors and decorate it with mini eggs and fluffy yellow chicks.

This adds to the significance of new life and the hope that Easter brings. The shops are full of chocolate delicacies and eggs.  I used to enjoy the odd sickly Cadbury’s Creme Egg but now I can enjoy that Fazer specialty that’s produced in Vantaa, Finland.

The Mignon Egg has been handmade since 1896, white egg shells filled with hazelnut and almond nougat. Remember that a short time in the fridge helps to peel the shell away easier, and it is a real egg shell that my one British friend discovered after one bite and a couple of crunches.

According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the weather forecast for the Easter weekend in the capital region shows some sunshine but temperatures will struggle to get above freezing. Maybe a chance for a day trip vigorously skiing or hunting eggs somewhere.  Happy Easter!