In Nordic and Baltic countries rye is traditionally used as a breading material, and most Finnish people serve rye bread with every meal, from breakfast to dinner. Therefore, the traditions behind rye farming go back hundreds of years. Nowadays, most of the work is done with help of machinery, but people still love to practise and celebrate the historical and traditional ways of harvesting rye by hand.
There are harvest festivals all around Finland in August, but we attended the most special one of all. The annual Finnish Championships of cutting Rye (Rukiinleikkuun SM-kilpailu Riuttala) at Riuttala Farm Museum in Kuopio.
The tools used are traditional sickle and scythe.
Rye usually grows over a meter high, but this year Riuttala’s rye wasn’t a success. However, that did not stop the fun.
Finnish Championship of Cutting Rye marking points:
sheaves; size, binding, evenness
shock; dry a group of twelve sheaves of grain placed upright and
supporting each other to allow the grain to dry and ripen.
work quality; purity of the cone, the overall impression
After the competition and little exploring around the Riuttala farm museum, we headed to the cafe. They served freshly made rye porridge, rye bread with drinks and coffee. The championship competitors also had the opportunity to enjoy the Riuttala smoke sauna by the lake at this point.
Image source: ET lehti
Then it was time to announce the Champions.
What a fantastic event, celebrating traditions and peasant culture and heritage. Join the event next year!
Harvest Festival at Riuttala
Riuttalantie 719, 72100 Karttula | +358 50 595 4183 | website