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Midsummer includes bright nights, midsummer magic spells and traditions
For Finns, the most important celebration of summer is midsummer. The feast is often celebrated on the shores of lakes and in the middle of the countryside. Midsummer includes many traditions such as sauna, bonfires, staying up through the nightless night and doing magic spells.
Midsummer (in Finnish juhannus) is celebrated after mid-June. Most Finns leave for summer cottages, campsites, holiday villages and countryside to celebrate. Around midsummer, meadow flowers are at their most beautiful and they are picked for vases as well as for the making of anadems. Birches are brought from the forest to decorate the doors and gates, also places open in the city decorate the outdoor spaces with birches. Birch twigs are also used for the making of fresh birch whiskes used in sauna.
Midsummer bonfire tops the village fest
Burning a midsummer bonfire is one of the old traditions of scaring evil spirits away. Today, midsummer bonfires are lit mostly to create the atmosphere. Bonfires are usually burned on the shores of lakes, if allowed by a forest fire warning. A bonfire can also be built on a stage on top of water from where it can’t spread over dry land. Village parties are held in many villages where a bonfire is lit on Midsummer Eve. Village celebrations also often include stage dances held on dance pavilions and village houses. The atmosphere of midsummer dances on a bright summer evening, surrounded by floral dresses and the stunning scents of summer is an unforgettable experience.
The magic and ambience of nightless night
Midsummer nights are bright because of the midnight sun, so Finns often stay up until morning, enjoying the nightless night. Magic spells are part of the Midsummer Night tradition, especially for unmarried women. These days the magic spells are done just for fun. You can try peeking into a well or pond naked, where you should see your future fiancé’s figure on the surface of the water. Another popular magic spell is to collect seven different flowers under the pillow, then one sees her future fiancé in a dream. Good luck in marriage has been promised to whoever rolls around naked in a meadow on a Midsummer night. Usually, midsummer magic spells predict the future groom and luck in getting married. Most of the spells are are advised to do naked.
Spend a memorable midsummer in Häme
At midsummer time, it’s worth heading to the villages, as many services and attractions close their doors in cities. This summer, larger events have been cancelled because of the exceptional situation, but there are certainly things to do! Petäys Resort’s lakeside restaurant Kaisa hosts a midsummer party where bonfire will be lit on Friday night and on Saturday there is live music on the terrace. Petäys beach saunas are also warm for the midsummer sauna. From the port of Hämeenlinna, you can enjoy the midsummer atmosphere on the Lake Vanajavesi waves on a Silver Line midsummer cruise. Lempivaara Holiday Center in Riihimäki also hosts a midsummer fest, Friday’s bonfire will lit up at a time appropriate for families; as early as 6pm. Live music is played on both Friday and Saturday. In the Forssa area, you can take part in Midsummer’s Eve night kayaking at Liesjärvi with guidance of Erärenki. In the Korteniemi Heritage Farm, you can prepare a birch whisk for the midsummer sauna yourself.