Festival in the village of Sudnozero

Head of Karelia with the Lesonen family in the village of SudnozeroOn August 27, festival in the village of Sudnozero has invited guests from Kostomuksha, village of Voknavolok and different towns of Finland. The outdoor fête was called to celebrate the Day of the Village, folklore ensembles Karelskaya Gornitsa and Martty sang songs and danced in a ring.

There is an old tradition to slaughter a ram for the festival. Since distant centuries this sacrifice is made for good and health of relatives. In old times only men were allowed to the pan. By the way, men play the lead at the festival, they distribute duties by lot. For example, the duty of whitefish smoking has fallen to the lot of the Head of the district Vyacheslav Shapoval who was a guest at the festival.

In the beginning everybody exchanged greetings. Head of the district has presented a gift to the Lesonen family from the Head of the Republic Sergey Katanandov who had been there the day before with his spouse ad was very much pleased with hospitality of local inhabitants and, sening his gift, has thanked them for their contribution in preservation and development of traditions of our ancestors, and development of tourism.

Since the beginning of the 1990s the festival initiator Alexander Lesonen with his wife Nina and three children moved to his native village from Voknavolok where he was a chairman of the Village Soviet. There he has become a farmer. Now at Alexander’s farm there are a bull-calf, a heifer, sheep and two horses. There is lots of work, the farmer takes special care of the hayland which should be enhanced and improved.

Of course, electricity is an impelling need here. Now it is generetaed by a diesel generator, although in the long term there should appear a wind-driven generator. The Finnish fund of steady cultural development in the town of Oulu has already purchased such station, and negotiations on its customs registration for delivery to Sudnozero are under way now.

The Lesonens are the only family living in the village. According to Alexander, before the war there were about 50 houses where 150 people lived. The village was not burnt. The house where Alexander lives with family is more than 100 years old. The building is a unique evidence of cultural traditions of Karelians. Several years ago according to old photos there has been restored a wooden chapel dupliating its predecessor.

The village of Sudnozero (Venehjärvi in Karelian) is sutiated in territory of Kalevala national park with its beautiful old pine woods and dark blue water of lakes. The Lesonen family has managed to return to their native village, and the village of Venehjärvi has acquired its second life.

Olga Borisova

Source: Official Government Site of the Republic of Karelia

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1 Comment

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One response to “Festival in the village of Sudnozero

  1. Hello my name is Therése Leppänen (Lesonen) and i’m locking for my Russian relatives. My grandfatcher Mikko Lessonen fled from Russia and then Finland to Sweden 1948. I think maby Alexander Lesonen in the articel “Festival in the village of Sudnozero” could be from my family. I would like to contact him. Do you maby have some contact information you can give me? Thank you for the help!

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