Today we celebrate midsummer fest, Juhannus. It is the time in the northern hemisphere when the day is the longest and the sun shines throughout the night. Although, not so sure if we can see the sun today as, like usual, it seems that this day is going to be quite rainy one. However, that is actually not a bad thing. The summer so far has been really dry here in Finland. So dry that smaller animals, such as hedgehogs, squirrels and birds have been suffering from it. For instance, it has been a challenge for swallows to build their nests as it has been difficult for them to find building materials such as wet mud from the nature. The animals have also suffered from dehydration. There was actually a ”social media” campaign that encouraged people to put water bowls outside to help the animals. We did that, and it did not take long for the hedgehogs to come for a drink. It always makes you feel better, when you can do something to help!
The traditional way in Finland to celebrate Juhannus is to withdraw to the countryside and to cottages, eat good food (grill food, can´t wait!) and have a sauna. For many, it is also the beginning of their summer holidays. It is also some sort of turning point in nature also. Although there is (hopefully) many warm summer days left, the eyes starts slowly turn to the upcoming fall. The length of the day begins to shorten and our first migratory birds, such as curlews (Numenius arquata), turn their beaks and start their journey back to their wintering grounds.
However, let´s not think about that today! Today we enjoy our beautiful summer. Hyvää Juhannusta kaikille!
Ps. There is this old folklore tradition/spell in Finland that if you collect and put seven different flowers under your pillow in the night of Juhannus, you will see your future spouse in your dreams. I dare you to try 😉