It’s time for the Midsummer celebrations!
Midsummer in Lapland is a very special time of the year. It’s one of the traditional festivities that we celebrate all over Finland. At the end of June it’s time to relax for a few days and enjoy the beautiful summer. This year midsummer will be on the 20th of June! It has long roots to the history as well: before midsummer festivities were about ensuring the harvest luck and fertility. Midsummer in Finnish is called ‘’Juhannus’’, and shortly it is about the celebration of the lightness and summertime. The Midsummer day is a free day for many, so often the festivities can start already on Thursday and last until Sunday. Midsummer is definitely one of the favorite celebrations for many Finns: when the weather is good, the Finnish summer is absolutely amazing. And Midsummer is the perfect time to celebrate that!
In Lapland midsummer is a very special time compared to the rest of the country, since in here we are able to literally enjoy the light: midnight sun is happening everywhere above the Arctic circle around midsummer! The weather really depends on the year, and in the past years there has been many Midsummer when it has even been snowing. This year we are expecting some amazingly warm temperatures which is of course very nice.
When we celebrate midsummer, there are also some traditions we like to do. Depending on the area there can be some differences, but some of these traditions are known all over the country. Bonfires, midsummer spells, certain foods and going to the countryside are very common things in Finnish Midsummer. If you travel to Lapland in the Midsummer time, you can also participate on these! It’s a fun way to experience the culture and get to know the Finnish lifestyle a little better.
Midsummer bonfire. Before, the purpose of the bonfire was to banish evil spirits. Nowadays it’s more about people gathering up to celebrate midsummer together for example in beach areas.
Juhannussauna & Vihta =
Midsummer sauna & Bath Wisk. Going to a sauna is one of the most traditional things to do at midsummer. In addition to a normal sauna experience, a bath wisk made of birch branches is a must. This might sound crazy, but with the bundle of the branches you are to hit yourself and others in a hot sauna. It has a lot of health impacts, for example lives up the circulation and promotes metabolism! And it also smells amazing.
Juhannustaiat = Midsummer Magic
During the midsummer night there is a tradition to do all kinds of spells and magic. Perhaps the most known ones are to do with finding and seeing your future partner. If you collect 7 different flowers and put them underneath your pillow, you will see your future husband or wife in your dream. If you watch to a well, you will see your future partner in the reflection of the water. Also the smoke from the midsummer bonfire will turn towards the person getting married next.
Traditional foods and activities
The traditional Midsummer foods can be pretty much anything, but some things are very common in the Midsummer menu’s. Since it’s the celebration of summer, this is usually the first time of the year when you can enjoy new potatoes and other vegetables. Barbecuing is also big in the Finnish summer, and from many table’s you can find for example smoked salmon as well. Since the berry season starts at this time, fresh strawberries and strawberry cake are a must!
You may have heard that many Finns have a summer cottage in the countryside? This is the time when the cities are completely empty and the countryside attracts many people. It’s the perfect timing to forget everything for a few days and just enjoy! We like to heat up the sauna, swim in the lakes for hours, enjoy good food and the silence of the nature. There are also some traditional Midsummer activities. Midsummer dances are organized in many towns, and the idea is to dance through the night and celebrate the summer. Water activities with rowing boats, SUP-boards and jet ski’s are also in good use at this time of the year.
Happy Midsummer, or like we say in Finnish: Hyvää Juhannusta!