Midsummer in Helsinki – This is how you do it
Your NO BS survival guide for a city Juhannus – Spending midsummer 2022 in Helsinki
Midsummer is almost here. (24.6-25.6.2022)
Those who have yet to experience the magic of “yötön yö” (in Finnish, trasnlates to roughly “the night with out a night” ) may be surprised by not only the lack of darkness, but also by the passion with which the natives flee the city in the summer. Yes, that means that Helsinki will have the look and feel of a somewhat deserted city.
But we are here to tell you that even though the streets are going to look even emptier, there are still thing to do in Helsinki during midsummer.
Midsummer or Juhannus, also known as “Jussi” is one f the biggest events in the Finnish social calendar.
Read this guide and you will not only feel smarter and better prepared, but you will have acquired a set of concrete tools that will help you get more out of your mid´summer nights in the city.
What is Midsummer? (in Finland)
Yes, lets get that out of the way first, whats the fuss about midsummer anyway.
To Finns midsummer as a holiday, is a close second to the holiest of the holy of holidays , christmas. Its very big. Midsummer is infact reckognized as the the time of the year when the superpowers of the Finnish people are at their most heightened state, as it is the only occasion in the ear when Finns perfom magic. (More on that later).
Originally, according to wikipedia and historians, midusmmer has christian roots or has been Christianized, and is celebrated as the birthday of John the Babtist. They offer conclusive evidence by claiming John the Babtist was born exactly 6 months before Jesus.
We can confidently tell you that this is fake news at the 6th degree (So sad), and that what ever budget was allocated to this Christianisation has been wasted. Midsummer, or “juhannus” as its called in Finnish, is an utterly pagan celebration of sex, love, sun, alchol, drownings, sleep deprivation and sauna. It’s a no holds barred, party all night and set things on fire type of celebration.
“Let’s have a toast, a celebration, get a glass out
And we can do this until we pass out
So let it rain, let it pour away
And we won’t come down
Until we hit the ground and pass out”
- Tinie Tempah, UK rapper
Midsummer Magic, it’s the real and the most fun magic
Yes, since it’s been scientifically proven that Finns cant be fooled into engaging in long unnecessary conversations, you may not be aware that we can infact perform magic. Not Harry Potter style kids magic but the kind that puts Tinder to shame and gets people pregnant, but in a good way.
While its true that some of the traditions around how the magic is performed have begun to fade with the younger generations, we suspect the force is strong within our nation and some of the old magic is still around since folks are still getting pregnant.
You, our dear reader, do not have to suffer from ignorance as here are some of the easiest to perfom magic acts with the highest historical conversion rates:
Magic traditionally performed in the country side, and always during midsummers eve night:
- When a woman or girl of 18 enters a sauna and uses the Vihta of a boy she does not know, the number of the birch leaves that remain on her inner thighs will equal to the number of children she will end up bearing for him.
- (Vihta = A sauna whisk, traditionally made from birch branches that were tied together to act as a fan)
- Spotting a four leafed clover on Midsummer means the finder is guarateed to find a willing partner that evening.
- The number of Cuckoos performed by a bird, the Cuculus canorus will equal the years it will take you to find your true partner.
- If one washes his / her face on the rivers running waters, he /she will be able to spot his or hers future spouse on the opposite side.
- Throwing a shoe on the roof of a building will result in the tip of the shoe pointing to wards the direction you will end up moving in. (oddly there is no promise of sex, marriage or dependants)
- If one rolls around naked in a cornfield in the morning mist, your future spouse will appear within that year.
- If one collects seven herbs, while maintaining silence, and then places those herbs under ones pillow, your future spouse will appear in your dreams that night.
Guaranteed city magic that works best during midsummer nights eve but can also work through the rest of the summer:
- Tip any doorman in the city during midsummer nights eve and you will feel safer and more prvilidged
- If you approach a lady at Crystal Show Club with a request for a private dance, the next morning you will wake up without a hangover and she will visit you in your dreams the following seven nights.
So what can I do during Midsummer/ Juhannus in Helsinki?
With most of the people having retreated to their summer cabins or visiting music festivals somewhere in Finland, you may fear you will miss the authentic experience. To completely extinguish that fear we have collected the following set of comprehensive tips.
Read the tips and use the map to find the place(s) to be.
All Tips can be found on the map.
Tip 1: Plan your midsummers eve around how and where you will catch the bonfire.
Midsummer in the city is celebrated across the city in parks, restaurants and terraces… But the bonfire equates to the fireworks on new years eve. You just need to see it, you cant miss it, its the only proof it was actually midsummers eve and not just some wild magical night trhat somehwo happened.
So what ever you do and where ever you go, make sure you know where you will watch the bonfire and at what time, and how you wil get there.
The Bonfires are subject to weather conditions 🙁 , so if there is a risk of forest fire, they will not happen, so its actually hard to give 100% accurate guidance in advance. But we can recommend 2 locations:
- The Kaivopuisto Bon Fire
- By the cafe Ursula at the southern tip of Kaivopuisto
- Historically the bonfire has been set at 20.00
- Free entry
- Seurasaari Juhannus valkeat (http://www.juhannusvalkeat.fi/)
- Some music and dance acts, and event for the whole family, Sauna, (check out the event link)
- Ends in a bonfire
- Tickets 27,50€
Tip 2: Make a decicion, are you just browsing or are you all in?
This is not irreversible, not a legally binding contract. Its just plain logic. The holiday is very traditional for the Finns so to get the mpst out of it, to really absorb the atmosphere, dedicate your self to the party. Drink a little more than you would during lunch. Plan & and game some of the events listed here. If its not for you, then scale things back by all means. But its best to go all in, expect the unexpected and let it happen. The point of the party is to party.
Tip 3: Getting around should be relatively easy, so move you ass.
Ok, so the streets will be empty, and the people will gather here and there (like on the locations listed). So be prepared to shuttle around. Get a taxi app on your phone. Earlier during the day, try the city bikes and do a bit of old-school analog cruising. Remeber it will be light throughout the day and night, so dont drive (the bikes) when you are drunk, it might be 2am but you just didnt notice it. The city bikes come with a handy route planner thingy too.
Tip 4: Besides the Bonfire spot, pick 1-2 locations off this list you will check out.
Wondering around the streets will get you nowhere. For once in your life plan ahead. Here are a few alternatives of what you may want to try.
- During the day : get on a day cruise or visit one the the islands. On all the islands listed below you will be able to enjoy food and drink in a beautiful setting that will get you right in the festive mood.
- A midsummer cruise on the J.L. Runeberg
- Visit one of the islands with JT-Line
- Another island, just opened to the public a few years back: Isosaari, a +100 years old fortress island, has a 9 hole par 3 gold course, but mostly fun because of the view from restaurant terrace
- Isosaari ferry details, this is the longest boat ride (approx 30mins) on this list.
- Uunisaari, located just a stones throw from kaivopuisto, you can pop in for a drink without commiting to any kind real of boat ride. Nice restaurant, case, small beach and sauna.
- Valkosaari – also very close to the shore. Beautiful setting, the Restaurant NJK easy in and out.
- Restaurant Saaristo on the Klippan Island, an equally stunning setting to the previous one, and right next door.
- Helsinki Biennal – 41 artists from Finalnd and aorund the world display their art in Vallisaari. Free entry, must get a ticket for the ferry.
- Other things:
- Linnanmäki – Helsinki’s own amusement park. Free entry. Ok for a quick visit, unless you enjoy the rides, you are in and out in an hour. Everyone who grew up in Helsinki has intimate childhood memories related to this place. Will be a conversation starter (remeber with Finns it will take some skill!)
- Allas sea pool – Altaan Juhannus. Outdoor swmming pool, with restaurant and stage hosting a 2 day event headlined by a multitalented finnish artist – Stig – at a very central location
Tip 5: At anytime after 21.00 hrs take a taxi to the best strip club in Helsinki
Crystral Show Club is open all through Midsummer. We are known as the best strip club in Helsinki as we have the best international talent (who we take very good care of) and very friendly service. You are Cindarella in reverse, get there before midnight!