Saturday, December 3, 2011
The Finnish Almanac 14.1.2005
The first Finnish almanac appeared in 1705. In the beginning, almanacs contained information about the annual cycle, church holy days, and name days, as well as information on market days and simple astronomical facts, but starting already in 1749 they ran numerous articles aimed at enlightening the rural populace in its labours and subsistence activities. These writings provided guidance in the areas of agriculture, cattle husbandry, commerce, forestry and health-care. In addition, they gave information on civic matters such as local government and the educational system. The Economic Society of Finland largely carried out the editing of these articles, but later a number of organizations and movements published almanacs for their own target readership groups. Such organizations included the Friends of Temperance, the Society for Popular Enlightenment, and the Social Democratic Party Commission. By the early 20th century, almanacs contained a large array of information aimed at helping the ordinary Finn participate fully in modern life, including lists of standard metric weights and measures, worldwide solar and lunar eclipses for the coming year, European heads of state, government bureaus and departments, a calendar of official hunting and fishing seasons, postal regulations, instructions and prices, railway ticket prices, official government documents and their prices, various national statistics, articles on current socio-political topics, humorous and satirical essays, educational articles on cooking, farming and hygiene, poems, and numerous advertisements for everything from insurance to bicycles, margarine, newspaper subscriptions and sewing machines, and even electrical and hot-air treatments by private medical practitioners to cure every possible disorder. Pia gave me this FDC which was issued on 14.1.2005.