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.

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.

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

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.

Source: http://www.visitfinland.com/article/midsummer-go-peaceful-or-go-party/

Besides that, let’s talk about Midsummer celebration. The Finns travel to the countryside to celebrate. There are many things that can be done under the midnight sun. In Helsinki, there are bonfire celebrations too. The locations for 2016 are updated below:

1. Seurasaari Midsummer Bonfires

Since 1954, traditional Midsummer’s Eve celebration has been held in Seurasaari. This year, the celebration took place on the 24th June 2016 at 4 pm. The festivities continue until 1 am the next day.

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Visitors could enjoy a full traditional Finnish activities. Tickets to the Midsummer’s Eve celebration in Seurasaari costs 20 Euros, and admissions are free of charge for children under the age of 15.

2. Midsummer’s Eve at Pihlajasaari

The bonfire were lit at 9 pm. The restaurant at the seaside terrace will serve food and refreshments. The restaurant were opened until 1.30 am. The last ferry departs back to the mainland was at 1.45 am.

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3. Midsummer Celebration around the city

Another Midsummer bonfire was lit in front of Cafe Ursula, off the beautiful coast by Kaivopuisto Park at 9.30 pm.

Midsummer bonfire were lit at Kivinokka, 24.06 at 9 pm, and visitors joined to build the bonfire in noon. There was a live band Kiki and Kuninkaat! playing at 8 pm. There was also a sauna available from 1 pm until 5 pm.

Traditional Midsummer’s Eve celebration were held at Stansvik Manor in Laakasalo. The kitchen opened until 9 pm while the evening celebrations continued until 2 am.

Also restaurants Meripaviljonki and Juttutupa opened throughout the Midsummer weekend. 

4. Midsummer festivals at Hernesaaren ranta and Lonna island

Hernesaaran ranja is a new restaurant complex by the sea in Hernesaari. Midsummer festival was organised from the 23rd June until 25th June. The festival organised live music every night, various delicious food options, fresh beverages and bonfire on Friday and Saturday. Tickets were required.

Gonna island was opened to the public last summer 2015. Midsummer festival Stadin Juhannus at Lonna was a two day event from 23rd and 24th June with various Finnish artists. The festival started on Thursday at 4 pm and Friday at 2 pm until midnight. The tickets for the festival are 32,50 Euros.

 

You might have missed the Midsummer in Finland this year, but there is always a next year!

Published by Stephanie Yiap