Midsummer festival, anyone?

 

Tomorrow, in Finland, it is the midsummer’s day and today is a national day-off. Nowadays this celebration starts by first driving hours and hours in unimaginable congestion at the average speed of 20kph at scorching temperatures with your family or friends to reach a summer cottage in country-side hundreds of Kilometres away. The weekend is then spent barbecuing, drinking, spending time by the lake and it all comes to it’s climax at the Friday-evening when the Bonfires are lit. This madness is called “Juhannus” in Finnish.

More traditionally the midsummer day was the time for many small rituals, mostly for young maidens seeking suitors and fertility and before the celebrations were Christianised it was called “Ukon Juhla” after the Finnish God “Ukko”. Even in modern days some people exercise this folk magic – just for fun thought. Lots of traditions are still alive: sauna, bonfires (called “Juhannus kokko” in Finnish), young birch trees are put by the front doors to invite visitors, just to name but a few. The midsummer day is the longest day in the year and due to Finland’s geographic location this practically means a really short night or no night at all!

So, Hyvää Juhannusta Kaikille! :)

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