In Canada, the May 2-4 weekend signifies the unofficial arrival of summer. Fireworks light up the night sky, cottages and pools re-open once again, and the thought of winter tires is nothing more than a distant memory.
The arrival of summer is a joyous and hopeful time here in Canada, especially after a seemingly long winter. In Finland, the arrival of midsummer, or Juhannuspäivä, is cause for a celebration. As Vettä is a Nordic-inspired spa, we’re going to take a look at the celebration of Juhannuspäivä and the way in which it is celebrated in Finland.
What is Juhannuspäivä?
Juhannuspäivä is the celebration of midsummer. It is a national holiday in Finland, which usually falls during the time of the Summer Solstice, typically at the end of June. This time signifies warmer months for the Finns and is typically when a number of people take their summer holidays. Midsummer Eve is celebrated on a Friday, with Midsummer falling on a Saturday. During this time, there is a lack of (or very little) darkness. Midsummer was often thought of as one of the key times during the year when the power of magic was strongest and, therefore, a good time to perform rituals, particularly those that predict the future.
In the early days, midsummer spells were cast and bonfires were lit in the hopes of increasing fertility, finding a future spouse, warding off evil spirits and for a good harvest in the future. According to past beliefs, making a lot of noise would bring good luck and drive away any evil spirits.
The Midnight Sun is an important component of Finnish folklore. An old tale revolved around a maiden collecting seven flowers under her pillow on Juhannus (midsummer), which resulted in her future fiance finding her in her dreams.
Juhannuspäivä, the Start to Summer
Much like how the May 2-4 weekend signals the start of summer here in Canada, Juhannuspäivä marks the transition to summer in Finland. Juhannuspäivä is typically celebrated with friends or family up at a cottage away from the city, either partying or a time of relaxation.
Lighting bonfires (known as kokko) and bathing in saunas are two of the most popular activities during this time. Barbecuing, boating and fishing have become popular activities as well.
While many choose to venture outside the city to enjoy Midsummer to the full extent, some decide to stay in the city. The city can appear a bit eerie during these times, as many often leave to seek a taste of nomadic life; However, there are a number of events and festivals that occur during this time, where parties last into the early hours of the next day, primarily because the lack of darkness makes it difficult to decipher when one day has ended and the next has begun. Traditional dances around maypoles and donning traditional folk attire are very common as well.
Enjoy Nordic-Inspired Treatments At Vetta
Vettä Spa will have Finnish-inspired spa treatments to help take you away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to experience a taste of Nordic culture for a day. From our saunas to our hydrotherapy treatments, we can’t wait for you to experience all that we have to offer!
For all the latest updates, be sure to sign up for our mailing list.