Midsummer in Finland, miss you! This is the weekend when Finland shuts down. As early as Thursday afternoon people started migrating to summer houses by the lake or the sea, and they will stay there until Sunday. Activities include sauna, swimming, outdoor games, fishing, water sports and barbecue. It is the weekend when the sun never seems to set. The Midsummer holiday (Juhannus in Finnish) is full of symbolism and magic. Some villages prepare a hug bonfire, kokko, which usually burns by the water. In addition, there are other traditions and rituals that include running around naked, looking deep into water, collecting flowers and placing them under the pillow and observing the direction of the bonfire smoke, to mention a few, and all these rituals are for the purpose of finding a decent husband and getting a hint of who he may be. Indeed, Midsummer is originally a pagan celebration. I have not been able to join Midsummer celebrations in Finland for a long time and it is a pity. It really is one of the happiest celebrations in Finland (even if every year someone gets too dunk and drowns…). Now that I am thinking about it, I realize I am more nostalgic about Juhannus than I am about Christmas! And to be very honest, uploading these photos (taken at the summer house) made me cry a bit. To me this is the most beautiful place in the world.
Happy Midsummer everyone!! Hyvää juhannusta!!
PS For those interested in understanding what life at the summer house looks like, see these previous posts:
Finland, Land of the Midnight Sun
Summer holidays in Finland
A typical Finnish meal after sauna
Fishing at midnight
Our beautiful lake has turned into a monster!
What does Finnish barbeque look like?
Finnish fish tajine (part 2)
Very easy tartiflette
The Wind in the Willows (kaislikossa suhisee)
A must-try at the Finnish summer house!