A bonfire is burning at Seurasaari in Helsinki, during Midsummer Eve in 2017. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

This week get ready for a real summer treat: the Finnish Midsummer celebration. Between June 22 and 23, Midsummer is celebrated in Finland as it’s the summer solstice, and the official beginning of summer vacation when Finnish families can go retreat into their summer cabins.

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Here’s some interesting facts to keep in mind:

  • It started out as a pagan holiday—a tribute to Ukko, the god of thunder.
  • In Finnish the celebration is called juhannus, in honor of Saint John. It is a popular time for weddings and confirmations.
  • Bonfires and saunas are the main events. However, some people also take part in fishing, barbequing and of course wild partying.
  • During this official Finnish holiday families tend to leave the city and celebrations take place on islands and summer cottages across the country.

Like in most holidays, old traditions are still kept alive and there are different ways in which the younger ones take part in the celebration. Girls can pick seven different wild flowers and put them under their pillows. By doing this, the name of their future husband will come to them in a dream.


Oh, and don’t forget your sauna towel and make sure to use mosquito repellant!

Facts by: Paulina Bouzas

The weather

The weather for Midsummer is according to the meteorologists to be rainy and windy.

This is due to the low-pressure area that will dominate over the country on Friday; in the central parts of the country, it is likely to rain cats and dogs.

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According to the current forecast, the warmest temperatures for Midsummer are found in southeastern Finland: 19 degrees during the days and about 15 degrees in the evening.
In southern and central Finland, the temperatures are likely to shift between 15 and 20 degrees.

Changes in public transport

On Midsummer Eve, Friday, June 22, a Saturday service will operate. On Midsummer Day June 23,  a Sunday service will operate. There will be additional night bus services. U line buses will operate a reduced service on Midsummer Eve and Midsummer Day.

Stores

Many stores are open during the Midsummer weekend. Alkos are open on Thursday, June 21 9:00-20:00 and on Midsummer Eve 09:00-12:00. On Midsummer Day and on Sunday (as usual) they are closed.

Pharmacies

For the opening hours of your local pharmacy, visit here.

Hospitals, Social Services and Emergencies

Health Stations are closed on Midsummer and open on Thursday June 21 at 8:00-16:00. Any other day health stations are open Mon-Fri 8:00-16:00. When local health stations are closed, patients in need of urgent care are treated by emergency services.

Adults (over 16 years of age): Haartman Hospital and Emergency Room, Haartmaninkatu 4, building 12, tel. 09 310 63231 and Malmi Hospital and Emergency Room, Talvelantie 6J, tel. 09 310 67204.

Children: Children’s Hospital Emergency Clinic, Stenbäckinkatu 11, tel. 09 87 10023.

Emergency Dental Care is provided on Midsummer at Haartman Hospital, Haartmaninkatu 4, building 12. Appointments can be booked 8:00-21:00 at 09 310 49999. Night emergency duty is at Töölö hospital emergency department, Töölönkatu 40, tel. 09 471 87708. Please always make an appointment by phone before seeking treatment for Emergency Dental Care.

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Emergency Social Services and Crisis emergency support 24/7 serve 24/7 also during Midsummer. Emergency Social Services tel. 020 696 006 and Crisis emergency support tel. 09 310 44222.

24 h Telephone Health Service, Tel. 09 310 10023: Information is provided about Helsinki’s health services and treatment instructions 24 hours a day at the cost of a normal phone call.

In life-threatening emergencies—call 112: In the event of a severe and life-threatening illness or accident situation at any time of the day, call 112 for help.

Culture and Sports

Libraries are closed during Midsummer weekend with the exception of some self-service libraries. Many libraries also closed earlier than usual on Thursday June 22nd. Check the opening hours for self-service libraries in Helmet.fi.

The normal and exceptional opening hours of the sports facilities can be found on the sports facilities’ individual pages.

Midsummer events in the City

Bonfires are lit at the shore and in the archipelago of the city. Some of the most popular destinations are Seurasaari and Pihlajasaari.

The Midsummer celebration in Pihlajasaari is free for everyone. One can take the JT-Line water bus from Merisatamanranta and Ruoholahti. The bonfire is lit at 21:00.