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Blåsmesse on the Primstav

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

"If it blows on this day, it will blow all year round"

So the saying goes on Blåsmesse, the Catholic saint day that falls on 3 February.

Image of St Blasius
St Blasius

Blåsmesse was an important day on the primstav. It is a celebration and marking day of the Catholic Saint Blasius. His name was linked to the Norwegian verb "blåse" which means to blow. Hence the idea that if it blew a strong wind today, it would be windy all year. There was also a notion that everything that had lain dormant over the winter would have life breathed into it if there was a warm, fair wind.

Volbu stavkirke Norway
Volbu stave church

Even though Blasius was not the best known of the saints, there was still a 12th century stave church in Volbu dedicated to him and eventually many legends arose around him. He was said to have cured a boy who had a fish bone stuck in his throat and was choking.

Toad in soil
A strong wind means lots of amphibians

In Telemark they said that if there was a strong wind there would be a lot of worms, amphibians and vermin, and in Namdalen it was said that if the wind was from the east the cod would remain in the deep, but if the wind came from the west the cod would come early and move into the shallows.

Blåsmesse is most often marked with the symbol of a bishop's staff on the primstav, but sometimes it can be seen with the symbol of ship, which maybe adds to the legends of the wind associated with him. Lets' hope for a day of sun and calm weather!

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