Midsummer in Finland

Midsummer in Finland

Midsummer in Finland and the Nordic countries is a significant event, often equalling Christmas in importance. The way we celebrate varies from country to country, but generally, we get together with friends and family to eat, drink, and be merry.

Festival of Love

Midsummer in Finland celebrates the Midnight Sun and our folklore is full of tales of around this natural phenomenon, including stories of maidens who dream of their future partners by placing seven types of wildflowers under their pillows on the night when the sun never sets. This season was traditionally seen as a perfect time for love and fertility rituals. Even today, the birthrate in Finland peaks in March-April, nine months after Midsummer. 🥰

Food, Sauna, and Fire

Most Finns escape the cities to peaceful summer cottages, often situated near one of Finland's numerous (nearly 190,000) lakes. Some attend outdoor dance venues known as lavatanssit, while others party at home with friends and family.

The food served at Midsummer in Finland usually consists of sausages either thrown on the BBQ or cooked on the stove in the sauna, marinated herring, perhaps also Gravad Lax (salmon), served with new potatoes with dill and naturally, rye bread. Strawberries feature heavily in the dessert. 

Sauna is a must – many people take several rounds in the heat, followed by a dip in the lake or sea.

Around midnight, there is a tradition of lighting a kokko, a bonfire by the water's edge or floating on the water. In the olden days, this was intended to keep away malevolent spirits and ensure a fruitful harvest. The fires also symbolized joy, fellowship, and prosperity.

The practice of making noise and merriment is still prevalent. The Midsummer celebrations often continue into the early hours, perhaps ending with a (second) nighttime sauna and swim with friends.


If you are curious about Finnish traditions and are near Duluth, Minnesota, why not check out FinnFest, an annual event in the US? Quite a few readers have found my novels via this amazing organisation celebrating Finnish-American culture and heritage, which is great! Find out more here: https://finnfest.us/

Midsummer Story

One of my books, The Young Heart is a captivating novella about Kaisa, a young girl finding her way through the complexities of adolescence during a Midsummer in 1970s Finland. With a blend of family drama and tender romance, this story is a touching exploration of youth, resilience, and the power of love.

Largely based on my own experiences growing up in a broken family, The Young Heart is also a compelling prequel to The Nordic Heart series


You can now get a free Ebook copy of The Young Heart when you join my Readers' Group. Find out more here: https://helenahalmebooks.com/pages/free-exclusive-reads

Happy Midsummer!

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