Marja-Leena Rathje
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midsummer dreams


If I were in Finland right now, I'd be celebrating Juhannus at someone's summer cottage by a bonfire next to the water.

Many Finns start their summer holidays this week.

I remember one year celebrating first in Denmark, then in Sweden and at last in Finland!

If I were in Lapland or the Yukon I'd stay up all night watching the sun never set.

If I were in England, I'd be at Stonehenge for the pagan ritual of watching the sun rise through the alignment of the standing stones.

If I could I would make the summer solstice a holiday in Canada too (another northern nation), so we can all mark the passage of the seasons and the ancient rituals of our ancestors, thus capturing a little of the magic of the past.

But I can and do wish everyone a happy summer solstice! Hauskaa Juhannusta!

Marja-Leena | 21/06/2006 | 7 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric


Nice meditation on the solstice. Happy summer solstice to you!

You mean: summer will not last forever?

Will it not last a very long time?

Thanks for the prints and drawings: entrancing...

Thanks Leslee, including the mention on your blog!

Hi Chuck, nice to meet you! The seasons are short indeed, but like the ancient poeple of the northern hemisphere, we glory when summer arrives. But in California, it's summer almost all year isn't it?

Something always puzzles me about "midsummer" - isn't it a contradiction of the "first day" of summer? The days are going to start shortening from now, so enjoy this longest day of the year!

Alas Marja-Leena, a midsummer nights dream! The 'Canucks' that have never been above the 60th parallel don't understand the true meaning of the soltice nor seen the days of continuous darkness or the land of the 'midnight sun.' Groups of narwhals (narwhales) that begin their migration at this time is a sight to behold. The males often hunted by trophy hunters for their long twisted Ivory tusk. The native people of the north consider this to be the first sign of summer by watching this placid marine animals playful movements. A sign of goodwill and prosperity. Unfortunately, I wasn't taught much about the Scandinavian Countrys in school and thought Lapland was inhabited by Elves, and the place where St. Nicholas lived. How I'd love to sit with you and family to celebrate around an open fire playing a tune on the kantele. Hauskaa Juhannusta my friend.

Roger, thanks for your wonderful comment. I agree that you have to experience the white nights of the north, which we've had living in northeast BC and in visits to Finland, but not quite far enough north to see the sun all night. It was more a long twilight, with the sun down just a few short hours. Fabulous! It's no wonder the Finns don't sleep in the summer.

It would be thrilling to see the narwhals! And guess what, Lapland IS the home of Santa (joulupukki) and the elves!!

Hei Marja-Leena...
Although I'll be 65 years young next year, I must confess that I still believe in Santa! Ho Ho Ho.
What bothers me is the commercialism of Christmas as stores begin to stock their shelves (not Elves) with everything from 'soup to nuts' even when Halloween isn't over. And, how do we explain to our children that Santa can be in so many different places at the same time? Beats me!

Hei Rog! I certainly agree with your complaints about Christmas. But why are we talking about that on the second day of summer? :-)