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lauantai 21. kesäkuuta 2014

Snapshots from the Midsummer Festival Celebration 2014 - tuokiokuvia Juhannuksesta

Midsummer-Juhannus is actually the start of the holiday season. It is also the lightest time of the year: daylight time is from 19 up to 24 hours depending of the location in Finland. Middle of the night the light is still "on" and up north even the sun can be seen. Juhannus (finnish) is translated as Midsummer festival.

Midsummer´s Eve is a bank holiday in Finland and typically people go to celebrate the festival to countryside or to archipelago. All big cities are empty in that time. Finland is "closed".

As winter can be hard and cold, the spring time is awakening of the nature. All colours in the nature are very saturated  in midsummer, flowers have started to bloom and birds have chicks who are preparing about to take their first flights.

Traditionally midsummer is a season of first Finnish new potatoes which are enjoyed with herrings and fish like smoked salmon. Very tasty. In terms of early season delicacy the season of new potatoes is very similar to the season of asparagus in Central Europe.

Summer gateau as a starter to Midsummer-Juhannus celebration

Celebration. On this picture the bottle of sparkling wine is opened by a billhook. Billhook is like a sword in that sense. Funny maneuver to start the festival. Kippis !

Weather ... hmm. The weather forecast for Midsummer Festival is one of the most expected one. This year weather did not show its best. The weather was cold and rainy. But we are used to it and in the end the weather is not a key to good atmosphere and feelings and memorable celebration. Good company, friends and family, food and traditions are more important.

Sauna and a bath whisk ("vihta" in finnish) are strongly connected. The whisk is made from leafy birch bunches. Leafs are usable e.g. big enough just in midsummer time. Traditionally Midsummer-Juhannus is the first time when these new birch whisks are used in sauna. And how to use them - you need to visit sauna and try. Sauna is a strong tradition and especially Midsummer-Juhannus sauna is important.

In the areas people living or staying at the water they light Midsummer´s bonfires.

Midsummer is magical time. In the past times young non-married people used to make magic tricks in the night of Midsummer-Juhannus in order to read their future success in love or even predict their future spouse. One of those magic tricks young ladies did is to collect seven different flowers from seven different meadows and put them under the pillow. In the next night her coming husband appears on the dream.

There are lots of Midsummer-Juhannus festivals all over the country where mainly young people participates. The majority are celebrating in country cottages, on boats etc. private venues. We arranged our own disco and music on the terrace while having a sauna and bath.

All pictures are taken during Midsummer Festival (Juhannus) 2014 in Western Finland.

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