• Midsummer – Go Peaceful or Go Party

    Midsummer is a national holiday in Finland and is celebrated as the height of summer and an ode to light. Finns like to spend their “Juhannus” in a setting like this.


    (NOTE: the photo is taken at night!)

  • In the old days, bonfires (“kokko”) were lit during Midsummer to keep evil spirits away and ensure a good crop come time for harvesting.

  • Bonfires and open air dancing = perfect midsummer night party!

  • Midnight Sun mythology is a well-known part of Finnish folklore. Most beliefs centre on the longest day of the year, Midsummer (“Juhannus”), at the end of June. A popular belief has to do with a young maiden collecting seven flowers under her pillow on Midsummer night, resulting in her future fiancée showing up in her dreams.

  • A swim in warm lake waters or the sea is an absolute must at Midsummer night.

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Midsummer – Go Peaceful or Go Party

Midsummer is a main national holiday in Finland. Originally a celebration of the summer solstice, it is typically spent with friends and family at a summer cottage away from the city, either partying or relaxing.

Midsummer is often seen as the beginning of warm summer weather and many Finns start their summer holidays on Midsummer Eve.

Taking place at the end of June, the Midnight Sun is a key element in the festivities in the northern parts of Finland. Not that it gets dark in the south, either; nights are white throughout the country.

Traditions

Lighting bonfires and bathing in saunas are two of the most typical traditions in Midsummer celebrations. Barbecuing, fishing and boating have later become standard Midsummer pastimes while enjoying cottage life.

In the old days, Midsummer spells were cast, many of which had to do with hopes of increasing fertility and finding a future spouse. Midsummer was also a popular time for weddings.

Party time!

Making noise and getting intoxicated has been part of Midsummer celebrations for ages. According to past beliefs, loud behaviour would bring luck and drive away evil spirits. Some thought the amount of drink consumed in Midsummer would correlate to the magnitude of the crop at the end of summer.

So, Finnish Midsummer party traditions run deep. Today, countless events and festivals are held all over the country, with parties often lasting beyond the wee hours, simply because it’s hard to tell when the night ends and a new day starts!

The urban alternative

Some choose to spend Midsummer in the city. Young people have revived the Midsummer dance tradition, and while it is customary to have them out in the open air, they might take place in trendy clubs these days. Dressing up in a retro manner will score you a few extra points.

Another reason for spending Midsummer in the city is the eerie atmosphere: cities are virtually empty, and roaming the streets all alone is an exceptional feeling – a must for zombie film enthusiasts.

 

 

Cultural Beat

Contrast is the main ingredient in Finnish cultural life, probably because everything looks and sounds different from our northern perspective.

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