Friday, 25 June 2010

Hauskaa Juhannusta - Happy Midsummer!







It's Midsummer's eve tonight. All day I've had Happy Midsummer -wishes from friends and family in Finland and Sweden, making me very home-sick. It's on days like today, with the exception of perhaps the 1st of May, when I miss being home the most. I haven't been in Finland this time of year since the children started school; I cannot recall when I last spent Midsummer at home.

In the past few years we've had children's (sorry: young students) exams and end of school/university arrangements to worry about, but this year there are no such things to fill the void of traditional Midsummer's Eve celebrations.

In Finland we'd be lighting a bonfire by a the lake tonight, eating pickled herring with soured cream, dill and new potatoes. In Sweden they'll be eating more or less the same stuff but instead of a  fire there are Maypole's dotted around the landscape. What both of my home countries have in common is that they'll have a party, outside unless it's literally raining cats and dogs, and a fair amount of drinking is also involved. (Can you spot a common theme in the traditional festivities in this region?).

It may be an old wives' tale, but apparently more babies are conceived in Finland on the nightless night of the summer solstice than during any other time of year. Something to do with the dancing, drinking and general merriment which lasts all night, perhaps?

To make up for the lack of actually being in Finland, I'll be spending this beautiful summer's evening with the family, all of whom are here, but I promise not to light any unnecessary bonfires, and try not to conceive any babies. (Note to grown-up children: this is a JOKE)

Happy Midsummer everyone - Hauskaa Juhannusta - Glad Midsommar!

7 comments:

Sam Liu said...

It truly is fascinating to read about the culture and the festivals of your home countries, I really would love to go there one day. Perhaps I will when I am lucky enough to have summer free from "young student's" exams :D

I wish you a Happy Midsummer :D

Belle de Ville said...

Mid-Summer Night sounds so magical to a born and raised Californian who can't even begin to imagine how beautiful it must be to still have sunlight at 11:00pm. Even in England you still have a late setting sun don't you. The sun will set here about 8:15 tonight...nothing magical enough to encourage drink, dance and partying behavior.

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Sounds lovely, shame we do nothing here.

Monalisa said...

It was light here in southern Ireland until 10.45. But we don't celebrate, maybe we should start...

I have left an award for you on my blog.

http://monalisa-life.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

You just made me so homesick, snaps, sill,nypotatis!
So happy to be going to the island tomorrow, so unhappy for you not sharing the Finnish summer with us.
Have a great summer & see you in August!
You should freeze some of that dill for the crayfish...

tedsmum said...

Sounds magical, I absolutely insist you go next year, it is just too bad.
I cannot bear to go indoors this time of year and have been out gardening until almost half ten a couple of nights this week....

Helena Halme said...

We had herring and new potatoes and beer today which went some way to cheering me up and then England played like muppets, making me feel very English indeed.

Multiculturalism can really work against one at times!

xx