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Juhannus observed peacefully amidst festivity, joy

23 Jun 2019, 01:59 ( 4 Months ago) | updated: 23 Jun 2019, 02:28 ( 4 Months ago)

DF Report
Fireworks marking Juhannus on the bank of Kemijoki in Rovaniemi on Friday night. DF Photo.

The traditional Juhannus (Midsummer) was celebrated peacefully across the country amidst festivity and joy.

Most of the parts of the country experienced sunny and warm weather on the eve and during the Juhannus, although weather was cloudy and rainy in different places.

The law enforcers were busy all over the country following number of incidents of clashes, disturbances and illegal bonfires.

Two people, one elderly man and another elderly woman both of their 60s were drowned in water in South-western Finland and central Finland respectively during the holiday weekend, reported National broadcaster Yle quoting rescue officials.

Several saunas meanwhile caught fire on Friday, particularly in the Pirkanmaa region.

Rescue workers also put out dozens of illegal bonfires.

“People are used to lighting bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve, and rescue departments have a difficult time properly monitoring bonfires when warnings are in force for forest or brush fires,” reported Yle, quoting Pentti Partanen of the Central Finland rescue department as saying.

People from all walks of life thronged the banks of lakes, rivers and sea along with their family, relations and friends and lit bonfires on Friday evening to add colours to the festival.

There were exotic foods and drinks, besides music, dance, songs and making fun, on the occasion of the biggest summer celebration.

All offices including government and private excepting the emergency services remained closed till Monday.

There are various events held around in different parts of Helsinki and other parts of the country.

For 60 years, many residents of Helsinki flock to Seurasaari, an island in the greater region of Helsinki to watch midsummer bonfires.

The traditional Midsummer Eve celebrations on the island of Seurasaari held at 5:00pm on Friday and the celebrations continued all the way until midnight.

Like the previous year, a lucky wedding couple was chosen to dance their wedding waltz on the main stage and light the bonfire on the Kyrösjärvi lake from a wooden church boat.

The programme also included other smaller bonfires, a Midsummer pole decorated in flowers, Finnish folk dances and a magic path where you can make spells in the enchanted night.

Finnish Silverline offered boat trips from the Laukontori harbour. The cruise rate includes midsummer bonfire, dance and a coupe for sauna.

It is believed that the biblical John the Baptist was born on the Midsummer Day.

After the Christianisation of Scandinavia in the Middle Ages, the Midsummer day was fixed on June 24 to commemorate St. John the Baptist, the saint who baptised Jesus.

Nowadays, Midsummer, however, is celebrated on the Saturday between June 20 and June 26 and the celebrations combine both pagan and Christian traditions.