Friday, June 23, 2006

Midsummer quietly slips by

Holidays and public celebrations really mark the passing of a year. I always feel a bit out of sync when I'm in a place that doesn't celebrate a certain day the way you expect, rather its just another Tuesday, Wednesday..... I felt this one Christmas in New Delhi - it was too warm, there was no Christmas music, no Santas or those other familiar scenes.

During our time in Finland, I added some new celebrations to my annual calendar. One familiar holiday I knew from my childhood summers was Juhannus or Midsummer, the Summer Solistice.

Its such a powerful tradition in Finland; anticipated as anxiously as Christmas or New Year's Eve, it marks the real start of summer. For many it kicks off their 4 week summer holidays. Finns flee the cities for the sea and lakeshores to eat, drink, drink, drink, sauna, drink, sauna, drink, and build blazing bonfires. The one in the photo is from our summer cabin on Lake Koitere.

Its a really joyous occasion, but sadly, each year, the combination of too much alcohol and water mean the last Midsummer for too many.

This year in Dallas, I wasn't even quite sure which day Midsummer feel on. Its not printed on the calendars. No one even notices it. I feel that my summer is somehow off, I am looking forward to a proper 4th of July celebration to set it right again.


Rowan said...

Really ... Had I not stopped by and say this, I would have forgotten about Juhannus entirely ... Shameful, huh?

I suppose since summer almost feels eternal in LA, we feel less apt to celebrate it. Kind of disheartening, really. And 4th of July just doesn't really cut it for me. :(

Peanut's Mom said...

Hi Rowan - good to hear from you - i've been looking for an update on your blog!

I know what you mean about summer being endless so you just feel like surviving it rather than celebrating it. Seems like here in the hot zones, we could celebrate mid-summer as a 'we're almost through it!'.