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!
The Rolling Stones performing in 1965 on Juhannus, Midsummer at Yyteri beach in Finland.
People dancing and celebrating a very rainy midsummer.
Juhannus in the countryside, 1960.
What are your Juhannus plans? Let us know in the comments below!