Discover the Magic of Moomins: Celebrating Tove Jansson's 109th Birthday

August 9 is Moomin's Day, a day to celebrate artist Tove Jansson and the wonderful world of Moomins that she created. Today, the Moomin Official Instagram posted a lovely photo of Jansson along with this brief description of Moomin Day:

On this day 109 years ago, on August 9th 1914, Tove Jansson was born in Helsinki, Finland. Growing up in an artist family, she knew from a young age that she too wanted to dedicate her life to creating art. And now, we have the Moomins. đź’› 

Nordik provides this more detailed biography of Jansson:

Born in Helsinki, Finland, she studied art in Stockholm, Helsinki and Paris, eventually developing her first Moomin-like characters during World War II and continuing the Moomin adventures until 1977. Tove is as equally celebrated for her short stories and novels as she is for her artwork. She drew on her early family experiences which fueled her passion for artwork, writing and of course, the creation of the whimsical and quirky characters of Moomin Valley. Tove's family was separated several times during her youth by the Finnish Civil War, the Winter War and World War II. It was the strong bonds of family love, trust and support which formed the basis for some of her characters including Moominmamma, Moominpappa and Moomintroll. Tove also loved to travel and you will see that many of the Moomin Valley characters find themselves on endless harrowing adventures of discovery. Photo: © Moomin Characters™

The timeless and universal stories of the Moomins are deeply rooted in the Jansson's core family values of love, tolerance and adventure. Some of the other lessons the Moomins teach us are seen in Moominmamma's and Moominpappa's house. The front door is always open for anyone seeking shelter. They built an additional floor just to house guests and their home is open to everyone, regardless of species, what they look like or where they're from….everyone deserves to be treated with respect. This message was always central to Tove's life and should be true for the rest of us humans too! 

I was lucky enough to discover Moomins on a trip to Helsinki almost ten years ago, and it was love at first sight! The Moomin universe is filled with diversity, love, adventure, friendship, acceptance, and community—it's an absolutely delightful place. My favorite character is "Snufkin," who is described like this on the Moomin website: 

Snufkin is a philosophical vagabond who wanders the world fishing and playing the harmonica. He carries everything he needs in his backpack, as he believes that having too much stuff makes life overly complicated.

If you don't know the world of the Moomins, you definitely should. You can go to the official Moomin YouTube to watch some episodes of the cartoon that aired in the 1990s. You can also check out the new Moomin podcast, "The Moomin Phenomenon," or learn more about the Moomins on their official website or Instagram; you can also learn more about Tove Jansson here.