Show your support for Heikinpäivä while sporting a handsome t-shirt depicting a kattokäki (ceiling bird), an example of Finnish hand-carved folk art. A limited number of shirts are available in sizes small through XXX-large. Finnish Theme Committee member Alice Margerum has created the t-shirt design based on locally-made fan birds.
Short sleeved t-shirts are in maroon and long-sleeved shirts are available in forest green, and are available from Finnish Theme Committee members, as well as North Wind Books.
Believed to have originated among the Finno-Ugric people of near St. Petersburg, the kattokäki (ceiling cuckoo) were made during the long winter months, during which time men and boys carved decorative items with a puukko (knife, which men wore off their belts).
One legend says a father made the first kattokäki and hung it from the ceiling the remind his ill son that spring was coming.
Others say that the fan-bird symbolizes the Holy Spirit. It is reported that when pulpits were introduced in Swedish churches in the 1600s, a fan-bird was hung over the preacher’s head, or perhaps over the baptismal font, representing a pelican (kattolintu), the mythical baby deliverer.
The lightweight fan bird moves with the slight air movement, giving the appearance of flying reminding people that winter will eventually be over, and the birds will return.
Short-sleeve shirts (in maroon only), sizes small through extra-large) – $15; XXL and XXXL are $18.
Long-sleeved shirts (in forest green only), sizes small through extra-large – $20, and XXL are $23.