Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Midsummer solstice 21/06/06

Happy Midsummer!!!

today is the longest day of the year, hurraa!!!! the day of magic and spells...

Midsummer, what it is:

Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after an old Finnish god Ukko. In Karelia, people had many bonfires side by side, the biggest of which was called Ukko-kokko (the "bonfire of Ukko"). At present the midsummer holiday is known as Juhannus, or midsommar for the Swedish-speaking minority, and is the year's most notable occasion for drunkenness and revels.

Most of
Finland burns bonfires (kokko) at lakesides and eats smoked fish from the same lakes. In the coastal areas that are the stronghold of the Finland-Swedish, these are supplanted by a maypole tradition transferred from Sweden and pickled herring.

When Finland was Christianized, the holiday was named after John the Baptist (Johannes) in order to give a Christian meaning for the pagan holiday. The traditions, however, remained quite unchanged and survive in modern-day Finland although they have lost their original purposes. In folk magic, still well known but no longer seriously practiced, midsummer was a very potent night and the time for many small rituals, mostly for young maidens seeking suitors. Will o wisps were believed to be seen at midsummer night, marking a treasure.

Midsummer in Finland is celebrated a lot more intensely as in Sweden. A great many people get indecently drunk and happy. The statistics of the number of people drowned and killed in accidents are morbidly counted every year while the number of assaults also peaks.

Finns, Danes and Baltic people amongst some other groups believed will o' the wisp is marking a treasure. Treasure was deep in ground or water, and could be taken only when the fire was there. Sometimes you had to do some magical tricks, too, to uncover the treasure. It was also believed in Finland and other northern countries that midsummer was the best time to search the will o' the wisps (and treasures below them). It was believed that when someone hid treasure in the ground, (s)he made the treasure available only at the midsummer, and set will o' wisp to mark that exact place and time so that (s)he could come to take the treasure back. Finns also believed that the creature guarding the treasure used fire to clean precious metals bright again. Yet another Finnish explanation of will o wisp was that it was a ghost of a dead child.

(source: wikipedia)

Take it easy with booze over the midsummar weekend and have good spells


At 11:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valoista, kesäistä ja onnellista Jussia ja tervetuloa Suomeen löylyttelemään!
Siis vihdantekoon!

At 9:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a great midsummers weekend! You take also easy with that vodka :)


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