Happy Juhannus everyone, near or far! I am writing this while chatting with my husband who is reading his book in the dock where I can see the calm water and the cold breeze touching my face.
We decided that we aren’t gonna do much this time while we are in the summer house so I have got time to write. We are spending our time in this quite suburb near the lake in the city of Uusikaupunki where in my opinion is a very interesting place for relaxation. We sleep in a log cabin that is overlooking the quite and serene lake in the morning greeted by playful fish swimming along near the dock. I fed the fish in the morning so I can see if there are any to catch later in the day. During the day, my husband and I spent a lot of time working around the yard and the house. We fetch water from the lake, heat it up for later night’s use. This is always a starter day and closing is the sauna before bedtime.
At night, we can only hear the birds and sounds of animals from nearby and from time to time the sounds of motorboats passing by.
Juhannus is the largest traditional summer celebration in Finland. Long days and midnight sun are beloved in Nordic countries, and this is the time to celebrate the longest and the brightest day of the year and the real beginning of the summer season (see here).
What people do in Finland the during Midsummer Festival?
This time of the year, people spend time in their summer houses normally near the lake or sea enjoying water sports like jetskie, sea diving, fishing, boating, paddling or simply going around the countryside by bicycle. People without summer houses have camper vans that serve as their summer houses or the camper trailer better known in Finnish as “matkailuvaunu” or “asuntovaunu”.
Traditional ballroom dance is famous among older generations and by experience I find it interesting not only because its a kind of hobby exercise but also it brings back memories of the early Finnish tradition which in my opinion is slowly disappearing. It would be nice if this kind of tradition will be continued and promoted among younger generations too. I learned to dance fox trot from my husband and mind you its pretty amazing and easy to follow steps. Every 1 hour there is a break time and during this time people drink coffee and “grilli makkara” better known to many as grilled sausage. Alcohol is not prohibited but there is a high penalty when you are caught driving drunk or with alcohol.
Some fun facts of Midsummer Celebration
Just like what I have read about Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream – people especially women put 7-8 different kinds of flowers under a friend’s pillow and that would mean the dreamer will see who will his future spouse to be in the dream.
Vihta is a collection of birch tree branches with leaves tied together used in the Sauna. I have experienced this one last year- it sort of massages me by hitting me gently with the branches and the leaves kind of leave a good warm sensation like a massage in the body. Then after that, it was rolled and scrub onto my body. The aroma of the leaves and the gentle warm feeling on the body makes this experience beautiful and interesting for first timers.