Midsummer madness: 12 retro juhannus photos that show how Finns partied in the past


Empty streets, silent cities, closed shops — wait, what kind of holiday is this Juhannus?!

The utter deadness of Finnish cities at Juhannus, or Midsummer, often leaves unsuspecting foreigners baffled. Unlike the raucous celebrations of Vappu in Finnish city centers, Midsummer is all about escaping the hectic city lifestyle. Most Finns flock to the peace and quiet of their summer cottages in the countryside to celebrate one of Finland’s biggest holidays.

Midsummer is a celebration of the summer solstice, which in Finland and other northern locations is a special sight to behold. The days are at their longest point in the year, and the famous “Midnight Sun” of the north is at its most spectacular.

These days, Midsummer in Finland is held on the Saturday closest to the solstice. Celebrations begin on Midsummer Eve, with the majority of city dwellers travelling to the countryside to kick back and relax Juhannus-style. Grilling, dancing, bonfires, maypoles decorated with flowers, and of course drinking are all on the itinerary.

Wondering how old-school Finns celebrated Midsummer? Take a look at a few fabulous photos we found of Finns doing it up big for the summer solstice!






rolling stones performing on juhannus in Finland

1965, Yyteri beach

The Rolling Stones performing in 1965 on Juhannus, Midsummer at Yyteri beach in Finland. 


People dancing and celebrating a very rainy midsummer.

midsummer dancing 1955

Midsummer dancing.




Juhannus in the countryside, 1960.

What are your Juhannus plans? Let us know in the comments below!

12 replies

  1. Good friends, Maria, Reijo, Sanna,George, Paula, Spencer, Judit and Mikko-
    great makkara & good beer……grilling together in evening.

  2. We’re going to spend some quality time at my parents place with my boyfriend and my friend.. It’s nice be in countryside this time a year and of course there will be drinking, great food and sauna 🙂

  3. Stay at home, pick wild flowers, make a vasta (vihta in some parts of Finland), go to sauna, drink a puch made of self-picked wild raspberries.

  4. Quite a traditional Finnish Midsummer here in the Netherlands; first a salmon sandwich cake and some bubbly, then to the sauna and after that a bbq with self-caught fish. 3 Finnish people and one Iranian. 🙂

  5. Can anyone point out on Google Maps the exact location of The Rolling Stones 1965 performance on the beach ?

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