Memories of Juhannus from Kuopio
Jun 25, 2021
The big celebration of summer solstice and the Midnight Sun- “Juhannus” begins today in Finland on Midsummer Eve. This year June 26th marks the beginning of summer and many Finns start their long annual holidays and leave the city to enjoy cottage life...
“Having grown up in Kuopio in the Northern Savonia region, I spent many Midsummers either at one of our friends’ or our own summer cottage. As kids, we were always allowed to stay up all night to celebrate the midnight sun with the adults. There was no such thing as a bedtime. The sauna was heated up and we would take breaks to swim in the lake and eat some smoked vendace “muikkus” and Finnish pancakes “lettu”. Towards night time, the grown-ups often made a bonfire- “Juhannus kokko”. To top things off we would go for a midnight swim, which was always my favourite part of the summer."
"Midsummer is linked to a few romantic traditions. One of the popular beliefs is that by picking seven flowers and placing them under your pillow, your future spouse will appear in your dreams. I tried this first time at around 12- years old to test whether it held true. I’ve left this tradition to that one time after deciding it didn’t work. My friend told me that I must’ve picked bad flowers or placed them wrong under the pillow. Some enjoy a more peaceful Midsummer and others like to celebrate the sun that doesn’t set at music festivals. Midsummer festivals are a lot of fun and you tend to run into people from all over the country. A popular Midsummer festival is held at Tahko ski village, which is roughly 37 miles north from Kuopio. The best place to experience the midnight sun is in Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle where the sun won’t set at all. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy the “night- less night” in the capital area when the city is quiet and the night is still white. The most important aspect of Midsummer is that you are surrounded by friends and family. It doesn’t matter whether this is in the countryside by the lake or at a city festival. Personally, I also like to be able to enjoy some loylys in the sauna and swim in a lake.”