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Kalevala Day with Kari Tauring & Friends

  • Norway House 913 East Franklin Avenue Minneapolis, MN, 55404 United States (map)

Join Kari Tauring, with special guests, on Kalevala Day to celebrate the Finnish National Epic! This 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology is traditionally sung in call and response and is regarded as one of the most significant works of Finnish literature. The poems are called runos, a loan word from Proto-Germanic rūnō and rune meaning secret, letter, and whispered wisdom. Runos are short poems that contain nature magical potency much like the scriptural runes. A runo is a poet magician, and there will be a few on hand during Kalevala Day! (

In celebration of Kalevala Day, Norway House will be hosting the StokeYard Sauna all day from 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM! There are two, one hour and-a-half long sauna “bench times” per session, over three sessions throughout the day. Each “bench time” can seat five adult guests and each session has a different, fun and educational topic that will be covered. Stoking (fire and steam tending) for the event is sponsored by members of the Völva Stav Guild. Register below!

In addition to hosting the StokeYard Sauna, Norway House’s Kaffebar will be featuring Finnish pea soup and a special blackcurrant juice spritzer—perfect as a refreshing treat after sauna.

Come to Norway House and celebrate the national epic of Finland with Kari Tauring and Friends over food and drink, free entertainment throughout the day, and a reservation on the sauna bench — bring your swimsuit!

This all-day event has three sessions. Be sure to purchase tickets for the correct time as seats in the sauna will fill up fast! Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit!

OPENING STOKE (This session is child-focused! Only 5 adult seats available per time slot)
PART ONE: 10am - 11:30am  |  PART TWO:  12pm - 1:30pm
The Bear is Waking Up! What runos can we sing when we take our little baths? Runo 46 - Ljos: "Little Otso" and "Otso Created." We will teach other fun bear songs and games in Norwegian and German.

BALTIC CROSSINGS (only 5 adult seats available per time slot)
PART ONE: 2pm - 3:30pm  |  PART TWO:  4pm - 5:30pm
As a Kumitati (Godmother to a Finnish child) and having a Latvian father, Kari Tauring has been pondering the relationship between Finnish sauna and Latvian pirts. We will learn a Finno-Ugric song about preparing the bridal sauna and a Latvian song about calling the birth goddesses to the pirts. Come explore the similarities and differences!

NIGHT MEDITATIONS (only 5 adult seats available per time slot)
PART ONE: 6pm - 7:30pm  |  PART TWO:  7:30pm - 9pm
Night Meditations with Finnish American poet Lynette Reini-Grandell who will share her favorite Kalevala runos and the poems they inspired her to write. Readings inside the sauna and out.


$20 per session


$25 per session

Children 12 and under are free to participate

Photo by Eli Solheim

Photo by Eli Solheim


Kari Tauring is a Minneapolis based Nordic folk musician, dancer, and storyteller and author of “The Runes: A Deeper Journey”. A volva in Old Norse, she “carries the staff” of spiritual tradition within the folkway of her Nordic ancestry through performance, education, and authorship. She grew up in a Norwegian family in Minnesota with summers spent with extended family in Wisconsin. Kari combines deep scholarship and personal practice to create new interpretations of what it means to be Nordic. Called “innovative folk” music, Tauring gives modern relevance to the ancient poems and songs that inspire her.

Kari played original folk music in the Twin Cities and around the Midwest from the early 1990’s. From 1999 – 2006 she produced large scale Winter Solstice celebrations with original music, dancers, puppets, and visual artists. She has several recordings and parts of these celebrations can be seen on youtube etc.

Her early studies of Runes and ancient texts about them (1989) began making their way into her musical life in 2003 as she began reconstructing the staff carrying women’s traditions of her Norwegian heritage. Using the staff and stick for chanting runes is at the center of  Völva Stav is her original work aligning the body and its processes with the world tree and its many inhabitants. The use of staff rhythm for journey and rune expression, and the dovetailing of rune postures within Nordic movement is unique, profound, and well received around the world.

Kari began studying Scandinavian folk dance in 2006 and putting rune postures to traditional Scandinavian folk dances sparked her programs in Nordic Roots Dance in 2011. She continues to dance in performance groups, teach runes in the dance workshops, and connect the very ancient to the very modern through the threads of these folk ways.

Earlier Event: February 27
Aurora at First Ave
Later Event: March 3
Wilhelmina Smith, Cello