Monday, 18 February, 2019

Finns to celebrate Juhannus on June 22

18 Jun 2018, 14:15 ( 8 Months ago)

DF Report by Natalia Nikolaeva
Bonfire on the bank of Kemijoki in Rovaniemi. DF File Photo.

The traditional Finnish holiday Juhannus (Midsummer) will be celebrated in Rovaniemi as elsewhere in the country on June 22, Friday.

Roosa Nevala, the cultural producer of Rovaniemi City said the revels will take place in the Koskipuisto park area on the Ounaskoski beach from 05.00 pm to 09.30 pm.

The festivities will kick off with a music concert and a circus for children by the Konttinen Summer Theatre.

Nevala said, “There will be a fun Lavis – lavatanssijumppa, a gymnastic exercise session for the whole family inspired by traditional Finnish dances like humppa and tango. These dances have been the very essence of Midsummer celebrations and now they have been transformed into sport – humorous, sweaty and a lot of fun!”

A workshop on traditional Finnish culture will also be going on: “There will be some birch branches from which one can make their own birch whisks used in sauna, which is another Midsummer tradition,” said Nevala.

The official part of the celebrations will begin at 7:00 pm with a speech of Rovaniemi City Board Chair Liisa Ansala, followed by a performance by the folk dance group Siepakat.

The eagerly awaited for annual bonfire will be lit at around 7:45 pm on the Ounaskoski beach, unless there is a threat of forest fire. According to Nevala, “The bonfire is always lit on a beautiful small strand of sand on the river and for many people it’s the highlight of the Midsummer. It indeed is mesmerizing to watch and there is something magical in the way it collects people together to enjoy it.”

After the bonfire, everyone is welcome to enjoy a concert to be performed by Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha. In Nevala’s words, “The Lapland-based band is known internationally for their wild and rhythmic live performance. Their music thrives on old Finnish schlager tradition, with plenty of East European flavours. Their song ‘Night in Rovaniemi’ will surely be a hit in the Midsummer evening.”

In addition to all that on-land activities, people will also be offered a Midsummer cruise on board of the Kemijoen Helmi. The cruise is a great opportunity to experience beautiful Summer Lapland scenery. A ticket will cost 20 euros for the adults and 10 euros for the children, students and the retired citizens.

Delicious snacks will be available to enjoy while celebrating the event. “There will be food stalls where people can buy nice treats like salmon and sausages to keep them going throughout the evening,” said Nevala.

After the end of the official event, Valdemari Restaurant will also host a Midnight dance with the Ässät Orchestra playing.