Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Miscellaneous notes about mid summer

Juhannus, mid summer festival is almost here. Friday is national holiday because of Juhannus, and on Saturday all the shops are closed. To compensate that, the summer season sale starts on Sunday in most places.

The day is at its longest around Juhannus. Even in Southern Finland the sun rises before 4 AM and sets around 11 PM. That's 19 hours! Juhannus is all about celebrating the sun.

You're supposed to do some magic on Juhannus night:
  • You need to pick 7 different flowers and put them under your pillow - then you can see you future husband/wife in the dream.
  • You can also see the future spouse of yours if you walk around a well and look into it.
  • If you want wealth, you need turn your sock inside out and put a coin into the sock - and wear that when you go to sleep. 
  • And bonfires are of course a must.
Despite the celebration of light, Juhannus is usually very dark in terms of accidents: many people get drowned or injured in the traffic. So let's be careful out there.

People tend to spend Juhannus on country side. So if you happen to be at the city, go and experience the athmosphere at the city center. It's a bit spooky out there. People (even stranger) may even say "hi" to you, because the ones who stayed at the city are bonding somehow in an unexplanable way. One place to go on Juhannus at Helsinki area is Seurasaari on Friday night. That's the official Juhannus gathering for whole family with bonfires and all.

There is also a good chance to see the Finland from tip to toe on Friday night: YLE Teema (channel 7) will broadcast Juhannusjuna, a mid summer train. They are shooting a train trip from Helsinki to Rovaniemi live for 13 hours. Even though the concept sounds weird, I bet it'll be fascinating and addictive. They once broadcasted a Norwegian version, a train trip from Oslo to Bergen, and that was probably the best hangover TV show I've ever seen.

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