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How to Celebrate the New Year Like the Finnish

The celebration of the end of a year happens for two reasons. The first is to commemorate the year that’s passed, with all of the ups and downs it brought with it. The second is to welcome the new year, and to revel in the wide-open possibilities it represents. In years past, one of the most fun things to do in Barrie has been to gather downtown for the city’s fireworks display at midnight.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated all around the world, and today, we’re going to take a look at what that holiday looks like in Finland.

Festive Food & Drink

One of the best parts about any holiday is the variety of food you’ll find to enjoy during its celebration, and a Finnish New Year’s celebration is no exception. Unlike a traditional Christmas dinner, New Years’ dishes are designed for snacking throughout the evening, allowing guests to talk, laugh, mingle, and nibble on tasty treats as they please.

What might you find on the table as you graze throughout the evening? Traditionally Finnish New Years dishes include:

  • Pickled herring with capers
  • Sausage rolls and sausages
  • Jansson’s Temptation (an anchovy, potato, and onion casserole)
  • Roast beef or reindeer
  • Potato salad
  • A selection of cheeses & fresh bread

And, of course, no New Year’s celebration would be complete without sparkling wine at midnight (or soda, for those who are underage). At our all-season, outdoor spa in Horseshoe Valley, you’ll be able to sample some of these dishes on a seasonal basis, using locally-sourced ingredients from right here in Ontario.

Fortune-Telling Tin

One of the neatest New Years’ traditions in Finland is melting tin to tell fortunes. Everyone receives a small horseshoe made of tin. The tin is melted, usually in a pan, and then immediately poured into a bucket of cold water. As the hot tin hits the water, it solidifies into a beautiful, abstract shape. 

When the tin has fully cooled, it can be removed, and based on the shape it has taken, the person’s future can be interpreted. Even the shadow of the new figure is taken into account! If, however, the tin piece breaks into several smaller pieces, that could be a sign of bad luck. 

It should be noted that tin, when melted, can release airborne lead, which is why Finland’s Safety and Chemicals Agency recommends melting beeswax or sugar instead for this fun tradition.


During any other time of the year, Finns need a special permit to set off fireworks. However, on New Year’s Eve, they’re freely legal. Like Barrie, most towns and cities will have their own unique firework display right on the stroke of midnight, and sparklers are passed out to hold and enjoy. In Finland’s capital, Helsinki, fireworks can be enjoyed from the town square or from the window of a nearby bar or pub.

Put Vettä Spa on Your Wishlist

If you’re looking for fun, festive things to do in Barrie, you don’t have to look any further than Vettä Nordic Spa. We take our inspiration directly from traditional Finnish saunas and outdoor spas, so when you visit, you’ll be able to enjoy a small slice of Finland, and that includes the holiday celebrations.

To be among the first to hear the latest news about Vettä’s outdoor spa area, make sure to sign up for our mailing list. You can also send us a message online.

We hope you’ve had a wonderful year so far, and we wish you nothing but the best for 2021.

Have a happy new year, or, as the Finns would say, Hyvää uutta vuotta!

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In an effort to being fully transparent, please read the following before booking:

We are pleased to offer you introductory pricing as we open our booking software at a lower capacity limit to give us the ability to adapt to our procedures and focus on giving you the best experience.

During this introductory window, we will not be opening the restaurant, however the bistro will be in full operation. There may be a few finishing touches left to do around Vettä and we ask for your understanding ahead of time. We are still hard at work to complete every last detail and plan to be in full swing by spring of 2022.

Until then, we welcome you to come and experience our Massage, Nordic Spa and Bistro. We thank you for helping us to shape Vettä into one of Ontario’s top destinations!

Please Keep In Mind:

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– Please Enjoy A Free Robe Rental Waiting For You In Your Locker (Up To Size 2x)

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