What you need to know about enjoying midsummer in the Nordics?
A lot has happened at Relevant in the first six months of the year and the pace will accelerate after the holiday season. Now it’s time to go to the summer house, fly away, drive out and explore and enjoy the summer and a little relaxing break. Note that Relevant AdOps is available as usual during the summer season.
At Relevant we are operating in the Nordics, so here is how to celebrate Midsummer in the different Nordic ways in Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
Finland shuts down on Midsummer. During “Juhannus” most Finns are at their summer cottages by a bonfire eating sausages, going to sauna or swimming in a lake or in the sea in celebration of the years longest day when the sun does not set at all in most parts of the country. No real Finnish sauna is complete without vihta, the bunch of fresh birch twigs that are whacked against the skin to release their sap. For unmarried girls, it’s said that if you pick seven types of flowers and place them under your pillow, you’ll dream of your future husband.
Danish mid summer (Sankt Hans) is all about bonfires. Ideally on a beach or in a town square. Big, huge bonfires. Start collecting twigs now; you’ll need a lot. Top off your bonfire with a few straw witches dressed in old lady clothes. Legend says that on the longest night of the year, you burn a few witches and send them off to Brocken (Bloksbjerg) mountain in Germany to dance with the Devil. The Danes believe they invented snobrød, which are pieces of bread dough rolled around a wooden stick and cooked on the bonfire. And Sausages! You need sausages.
It’s all about location. Midsummer’s eve is meant to be celebrated out on the countryside. Other Swedish Midsummer celebration classics include having deliciously homemade food, wearing flower crowns for girls, dancing around the maypole, tug of war games, potato sack races and lots of games involving schnapps (nubbar). Don’t forget the old saying: if there is no herring on the table, there is no party!
Midsummer’s Eve is commonly known in Norway as St. Hans aften (St. John’s eve) or Jonsok (from norse Jonsvaka, “John’s Wake”). In most places, the main event is the burning of a large bonfire and singing. Norway’s vast landscape makes for a scenic celebration that usually takes place along the coast or up in the mountains. The Norwegians take their bonfires so seriously, that in 2010 residents in Alesund, Norway built the world’s biggest bonfire to commemorate the occasion. Be sure to bring a blanket, a chair and some of your favorite drinks to a local bonfire.
Relevant Team are wishing everyone a sunny and relaxing summer!