In Finnish mythology
Finnish mythology
Finnish mythology is the mythology that went with Finnish paganism which was practised by the Finnish people prior to Christianisation. It has many features shared with fellow Finnic Estonian mythology and its non-Finnic neighbours, the Balts and the Scandinavians...

, Ukko, in Estonian mythology
Estonian mythology
Estonian mythology is a complex of myths belonging the Estonian folk heritage and literary mythology.Information about the pre-Christian and medieval Estonian mythology is scattered in historical chronicles, travellers' accounts and in ecclesiastical registers...

 Uku, is a god of sky, weather, crops (harvest) and other natural things. He is the most significant god in Finnish and Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

n mythologies, and created the goddess Ilmatar
In Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, Ilmatar was a virgin spirit of the air.-Origins:The name Ilmatar is derived from the Finnish word ilma, meaning "air," and the suffix -tar, denoting a female spirit...

, creator of the world. The Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 word ukkonen, thunderstorm, is derived from his name. In the Kalevala
The Kalevala is a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology.It is regarded as the national epic of Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature...

 he is also called Ylijumala (the high god), as he is the god of things above. Other names for Ukko include Pitkänen (pitkä, long), Isäinen (isä, father), Isoinen (iso, great) and Äijö
Äijö may refer to:*Äijö, a name of the supreme god in Finnish mythology, more often used when he is portrayed in an evil way or as the Devil.* "Äijö" , a song by the Finnish folk music group Värttinä...

. He makes all his appearances in myths solely by natural effects when asked. He is the equivalent of Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 in the Greek Pantheon, or Thor
In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility...

 in the Norse pantheon with properties of Odin
Odin is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Anglo-Saxon "Wōden" and the Old High German "Wotan", the name is descended from Proto-Germanic "*Wodanaz" or "*Wōđanaz"....

. The equivalent of Thor, Tuuri
Tuuri is a village in Töysä, a municipality of Finland.Tuuri is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Etelä-Pohjanmaa region. The village has a population of 500. The name "Tuuri" originates in the old Finnish god of luck, harvest and success, Tuuri; he was the equivalent of...

, was seldom encountered in the Finnish pantheon, and relegated only as deity of harvest and success.

While Ukko took Ilmarinen's position as the Sky God, Ilmarinen's destiny was to turn into a mortal smith-hero. Stories tell about Ilmarinen vaulting the sky-dome.

Ukko's weapon was a hammer
A hammer is a tool meant to deliver an impact to an object. The most common uses are for driving nails, fitting parts, forging metal and breaking up objects. Hammers are often designed for a specific purpose, and vary widely in their shape and structure. The usual features are a handle and a head,...

 called Ukonvasara
Ukonvasara or Ukonkirves is the symbol and magical weapon of the Finnish thunder god Ukko, and was similar to Thor's Mjolnir. Ukonvasara means hammer of Ukko and ukonkirves means axe of Ukko. With Ukonvasara, Ukko created lightning...

 (Ukko's Hammer), or an axe
The axe, or ax, is an implement that has been used for millennia to shape, split and cut wood; to harvest timber; as a weapon; and as a ceremonial or heraldic symbol...

 or a sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

, by which he struck lightning
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

 (see thunderbolt
A thunderbolt is a discharge of lightning accompanied by a loud thunderclap or its symbolic representation. In its original usage the word may also have been a description of meteors, or, as Plato suggested in Timaeus, of the consequences of a close approach between two planetary cosmic bodies,...

). While Ukko mated with his wife Akka, (which consequently means "old woman" in modern Finnish, whereas "ukko" means "old man") the act created a thunderstorm. He also created thunderstorms by driving with his chariot through the skies. Ukko's original weapon was probably the boat-shaped stone-axe of the battle-axe culture.

A viper
The Viperidae are a family of venomous snakes found all over the world, except in Antarctica, Australia, Ireland, Madagascar, Hawaii, various other isolated islands, and above the Arctic Circle. All have relatively long, hinged fangs that permit deep penetration and injection of venom. Four...

 snake with a saw-figure on its skin is a symbol of thunder. There are stone carvings which have features of both snakes and lightning.

Ukko also gave good luck for hunting.

The Midsummer celebration nowadays known in Finland as Juhannus (after Johannes Kastaja, engl. John the Baptist) was originally called Ukon juhla (engl. Feast of Ukko).

See also

  • Jumala
    or or means "god" in Finnic languages and Volga-Finnic languages, both the Christian God and any other deity of any religion. The word is thought to have been the name of a sky god of the ancient Finnic-speaking peoples...

  • Finnish paganism
    Finnish paganism
    Finnish paganism was the indigenous pagan religion in Finland, Estonia and Karelia prior to Christianization. It was a polytheistic religion, worshipping a number of different deities...

  • Perkele
    Perkele is the god associated with thunder in Finnish mythology, like Thor of Norse mythology. In modern Finnish perkele is a common swearword.-Origins:The name is of Indo-European origin...

  • Ukkos faith
  • Ukonkivi
    Ukonkivi, , is located on the island of Ukonsaari in lake Inari, Finnish Lapland. The Inari Sami name for the island is Äijih. The area of the lake is called Ukonselkä. Ukonkivi was used by the Sami people as a holy sacrificial place, perhaps as recently as the 19th century...

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