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Hauskaa juhannusta - Happy Midsummer! - Embassy of Finland, Washington - Consulate Generals of Finland, New York, Los Angeles : Current Affairs

EMBASSY OF FINLAND, Washington, D.C.
CONSULATES GENERAL OF FINLAND, New York and Los Angeles

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    Tel. +1-202-298 5800, sanomat.was@formin.fi
  • Consulate General of Finland, New York
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  • Consulate General of Finland, Los Angeles
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News, 6/24/2010

Hauskaa juhannusta – Happy Midsummer!

Midsummer in Finland.Midsummer is traditionally spent by the lake.

On June 26 Finland celebrates the Midsummer festival. Traditionally Midsummer is celebrated by all Finns at the summer solstice, and people tend to escape to their summer cottages to leave the cities empty.  Happy Midsummer!

Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after the Finnish god Ukko. After the celebrations were Christianized, the holiday became known as Juhannus after John the Baptist (Finnish: Johannes Kastaja). Since 1955, the holiday is always celebrated on Saturday (between June 20 and June 26).

Bonfires play important part

Bonfires are part of Finnish Midsummer.Bonfires are part of Finnish Midsummer.

In the Finnish Midsummer celebration, bonfires play a very important part. They are burnt at lakesides and by the sea. In addition, two young birch trees are often placed on both sides of the front door to welcome visitors. In Midsummer night, a sauna is typically heated and remains heated for a number of hours.  Family and friends are invited to bathe and to grill. In folk magic, midsummer was a very potent night and  time for many small rituals, mostly for young maidens seeking suitors and fertility.

Midnight sun.Midnight sun gives Finnish summer its unique character.

White nights and midnight sun give Midsummer its unique character. Because of Finland's location spanning around the Arctic Circle, the nights near the Midsummer Day are short or non-existent. This gives a great contrast to the darkness of the winter time.

Time for music festivals

Many music festivals of all sizes are organized during the Midsummer weekend. It's also very common for Finns to start their summer holidays on Midsummer Day. For many families, the Midsummer is the time to move to the countryside. Summer is traditionally spend at summer cottage by the lake - Finns often spend the whole of July at the summer cottages.

Finnish flag.Midsummer Day is also the Day of the Finnish Flag.

The flag is hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer eve and flown all night till 9 pm the following evening.

 

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Updated 6/24/2010


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