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Finns Observe Easter Holiday

Religious observances for Easter were held around Finland on Saturday and Sunday. The tenth Via Crucis, or "way of the cross" procession was held in central Helsinki on Saturday night, with hundreds of people watching. About 200 actors and singers took part in the production, which concluded on the steps of Helsinki's Lutheran Cathedral.

The main observance of the Finnish Orthodox Church, at Helsinki's Uspensky Cathedral, was filled by worshipers in the early hours of Sunday. For Finland's Orthodox the celebration marked an end to a seven-week fast.

In Lutheran churches, the Easter Sunday collection was to benefit AIDS orphans in Africa.

In the Ostrobothnia region, people gathered around the traditional Easter bonfires. The origin of the tradition was an effort to scare away witches that were believed to commit acts of mischief on Easter night.

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