Best time to go to Finland

Juhannus (Midsummer) 2024

This midsummer celebration in Nordic style has lots of traditions and secrets to be discovered

Dates: June 21–22, 2024

Juhannus (Midsummer)
Juhannus (Midsummer)
Juhannus (Midsummer)
Juhannus (Midsummer)
Juhannus (Midsummer)
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Juhannus is the largest traditional summer celebration in Finland. Long days and midnight sun are beloved in Nordic countries, and this is the time to celebrate the longest and the brightest day of the year and the real beginning of the summer season.

Finnish Midsummer Traditions

Finnish "Nightless night" as it is also called, is occupied by many beliefs and magical stories. This is the night when witches, fairies, and elves come to the human world to tease them and predict their future. There are lots of old traditions for this holiday that are still followed. One of such is building the 'kokko' which is a huge bonfire, usually placed near the water.

One more tradition is to decorate houses and doorways with birch trees and flowers. In the past people used to decorate their cattle as well for good milk production. In the east of the country the midsummer celebration used to be called the celebration of Ukko, the God of Thunder. He was the main god in pagan times, as the rain and the harvest mostly were overseen by him.

Present Customs

Nowadays, midsummer celebrations are a combination of fire and water, traditional folk music and songs, dancing, and just having fun. Most Finns spend these days in their summer cottages, close to a forest and a lake. Every city has a huge bonfire to gather people around for large celebrations. This holiday is celebrated annually between the 20th and 26th of June, during the longest day of the year.

Places to Celebrate Juhannus

Some of the best places to experience authentic celebrations of the Finnish Midsummer are Joensuu and Rovaniemi. However, many choose the capital city. Traditional festivities occur away from downtown Helsinki, namely on Seurasaari island, or outside of the city in Porvoo. Meanwhile, some people choose to stay in the center of the city which is less crowded than usual during these days.

Seurasaari Midsummer Bonfires in Helsinki (June 21, 2024)

Seurasaari Island, known as a treasury of Finnish history for its unique open-air museum, annually hosts one of the biggest Juhannus celebrations in the country. The lush nature of the island makes for a beautiful setting for the festivities. The event draws in folk dancers and musicians from all over the country, wishing to greet Midsummer with traditional performances. The bonfire burning and main festivities take place near the Kokkoranta shore, but venues throughout the whole island host their own activities.

The program features workshops, traditional maypole dancing, folk singing at Karuna Church, and folk performers ENKEL, Ketale, Minna Hokka, and many others. The festival will operate from 5 pm to 1 am, with the entertainment continuing late into the night. Come by the Kokkoranta shore at 10 pm to witness the bonfire burning. Admission costs €28, but children under 12 years old can enter for free.

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