The exceptional circumstances affect traditional Midsummer celebrations across the country.

The beaches are likely to attract crowds in the capital region this Midsummer. Picture: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

It’s the eve of the Midsummer’s Eve, and many begin their journey to the summer cottage.

Those traveling along the eastern coast will travel under thunder and lighting. They will not be spared from pouring rain and stormy winds. The number of lightning strikes, according to weather service Foreca, may total in 10,000.

After the rain comes sunshine. The weather will be hot from Friday through Sunday. Daytime highs of around 30 degrees are likely in many parts, except in Lapland.

In southern Finland, Midsummer traffic is busiest between noon and seven in the evening on Thursday, according to Traffic Management Finland. In northern parts, the traffic is expected to be busy until late in the evening. Traffic jams are possible on the following highways: 9 (Tampere–Orivesi); 5 (Lusi–Mikkeli); 4 (Helsinki–Lusi).

The returning traffic is expected to be busiest on Sunday morning. In southern Finland, the traffic is expected to be busy throughout the day until 20:00–22:00 in the evening. Traffic jams are expected on highway 4 (Jyväskylä–Helsinki); highway 5 (Mikkeli–Lusi); and highway 9 (Orivesi–Tampere).

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many Midsummer events are canceled, including the traditional dances. Bonfires are banned because the Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued a forest fire alert for the whole country.

In the capital region, many public saunas stay open, and the sea and surrounding nature have an open invitation.

Alkos are open on Thursday according to the normal schedule, between 09:00–21:00. On Friday, Alkos close at noon and stay closed until Monday.

Many grocery stores stay open according to normal schedules.

We wish our readers a Happy Midsummer!