Wednesday, June 20, 2007


This week is the Finnish Midsummer Festival, which occurs during the time of the Summer Solstice (longest day of the year). Both Friday and Saturday are holidays with many stores closed. For many, this is the official start of summer, as people begin heading to their summer cottages and the city is run by temporary student employees. FMI has seen the arrival of several young students to help run the office and help make weather forecasts. (A subject of a future post to this blog.)

Don't underestimate the cottage culture. Finland is a country of 5 million people and 500,000 summer cottages, one for every 10 people. Much official business comes to a standstill during late June and July.

There are numerous and big parties during Juhannus. From Roman Schatz's book From Finland with Love:

Alcohol also helps regulate the population and create fluctuation. Midsummer is a good example: Hundreds of men fall into a lake or the sea while pissing and drown with open zippers. This loss is compensated for by the fact that on the very same night hundreds of Finnish women get pregnant without ever recalling the event...


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