Where to party on Midsummer in Helsinki
This year Midsummer’s eve is on Friday 23.6. If its your first time in Finland, get ready, as the city streets are going to be eerily empty.
Despite the deserted cities, Midsummer is a fun time to visit Helsinki as you will be able to experience the night without the night even in the southern most city. If you have never tried a sauna in Finland before, there is no better time to do it than during Midsummer. If you are completely clueless as to where to go, have a look at this guide we wrote some time ago.
Did you know, Midsummer is mating season in Finland
If you are single, you should be aware that Finns get particularlyn active in terms of mating during midsummer, going as far as performing various rituals often referred to as midusmmer magic, to help boost their chances of finding a partner.
Below are six curious rituals and practices that are associated with Finnish midsummer magic for coupling or attracting love:
- Seven Flower Collection: According to tradition, young people, especially women, are supposed to collect seven different types of flowers from seven different meadows. They should then put these flowers under their pillow during Midsummer night. It is believed that they will dream of their future spouse.
- Birch Branch Decorations: Birch branches are a significant part of Finnish Midsummer decor, and the tree is known to have magical properties. Couples decorate their houses with birch branches to bring fertility and ward off evil spirits.
- Midnight Sauna Spells: Sauna is an integral part of the culture, and during midsummer, it becomes a place of magic. Traditionally, women would go to the sauna and throw seven or nine different types of herbs onto the sauna stones. They believed that the steam mixed with these herbs would attract love or enhance their fertility.
- Bonfire Rituals: On midsummer night, huge bonfires (kokko) are lit. This tradition has roots in ancient practices to scare off evil spirits. However, over time, it’s become a symbol of communal togetherness and is considered a time for love spells. Couples often jump over the bonfire together, which is believed to ensure their love will last.
- Water Spells: Finns believe that water has magical properties during midsummer. Traditionally, women would look at their reflection in the water at midnight. The first creature to disturb the water’s surface would provide insight into their future husband’s profession. If it’s a bird, for instance, the husband would be a traveler or sailor.
- Dew Collecting: Early in the morning on Midsummer Day, women would collect dew from the leaves and wash their faces with it. It is believed that this dew, collected at dawn, has magical properties and can enhance a woman’s beauty, thus attracting a potential spouse.
With high hormone and alcohol levels from Helsinki to the artic circle, one could argue that time spent on performing these rituals could be put to better use simply through a more direct approach. What ever your approach, this year Friday 23rd is no ordinary night.