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Juhannus celebrated in peace except sporadic clashes

Published : 21 Jun 2020, 00:30

Updated : 21 Jun 2020, 10:22

  DF Report

DF Photo.

The traditional Juhannus (Midsummer) was celebrated peacefully across the country amidst festivity and joy except a few sporadic incidents of clash.

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

Four people were drowned on the Midsummer Eve and police broke up a mass brawl on a beach in Helsinki as people flocked to shorelines across the country, reported the national broadcaster Yle.

In Helsinki, police were attacked with bottles, fireworks and rocks after they had dispersed a scuffling crowd on the Hietaniemi Beach and detained four teenagers aged less than 18.

The law enforcers were busy all over the country following a number of incidents of clash and disturbance.

"A group of young people behaved aggressively towards police,” the Yle report quoted Inspector Tuukka Skottman of Helsinki police as saying, adding that “Fireworks were hurled at police.”

Coastguard officials were also busy in the Gulf of Finland and had to assist in 23 separate incidents, although none of the incidents was reportedly serious.

Most of those callouts were technical problems or vessels that had run aground.

People from all walks of life along with their family, relations and friends thronged the banks of lakes, rivers and sea, but no bonfire was lit anywhere in the country this year in line with the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

There were exotic foods and drinks, besides music, dancing, singing and merrymaking on the occasion of the year’s biggest summer celebration.

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 set on 24 June 24 to commemorate John the Baptist, the saint who baptised Jesus.

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