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A Social Life by Chris Betts
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Juhannus weekend

cbetts   28.06.2010, klo 11:20, by Chris Betts  

So the famous Juhannus weekend has just been by, so what did you guys get up to during this mid-summer weekend? I will tell you what I did. I traveled out of the city to a town called Vaala, whilst there we played a variety of games such as Finnish baseball, not to be mixed with American baseball these two are very different games, we also had drinks and just enjoyed each others company and being able to share this time together.

So what is Juhannus ?

"The celebration of Midsummer's Eve was from ancient times linked to the summer solstice. Some people believed that mid-summer plants, especially Calendula, had miraculous healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again"

"Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after the Finnish god Ukko. In Karelian tradition, many bonfires were burned side by side, the biggest of which was called Ukko-kokko (the "bonfire of Ukko"). After the celebrations were Christianized, the holiday is known as juhannus after John the Baptist (Finnish: Johannes Kastaja)"

"Since 1955, the holiday is always on a Saturday (between June 20 and June 26). Earlier it was always on June 24. A lot of the celebration of midsummer takes place on midsummer eve, when many workplaces are closed and shops have to close their doors at noon"

"In the Finnish midsummer celebration, bonfires (Finnish kokko) are very common and are burnt at lakesides and by the sea. Often two young birch trees (koivu) are placed on either side of the front door to welcome visitors, Many Finns leave the cities for Midsummer and spend their holiday in the countryside. Rituals include bonfires, sauna and spending time together"

"Many music festivals of all sizes are organized on the Midsummer weekend. It's also common to start summer holidays on Midsummer day. For many families the Midsummer is the time when they move to the countryside to their summer cottage by the lake. Midsummerday is also the Day of the Finnish Flag. The flag is hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer eve and flown all night till 9 pm the following evening"

So what ever you did this summer send me and message I would love to hear about it, for Finns reading this blog what is one piece of advice you would give to any international student. Send all stories and pictures to Chrisbettsoamk@gmail.com

(pictures and information thanks to Wikipedia)

1 comment

Comment from: holiday stores [Visitor]
holiday stores

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30/07/10 @ 00:29