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Juhannus (Midsummer Day)

Saturday between June 20 and June 26
Juhannus is a celebration in Finland of the Summer Solstice and of the feast of St. John. Like a medieval holiday, people celebrate at the lake shores where they build bonfires and dance all night. Since this is near the longest day of the year, special late performances are held at open-air theaters in many towns. There are also dances at hotels.
Many customs are remnants of pagan times. In earlier times, the bonfire was supposed to reveal the future. Birch tree branches are brought into the homes to insure future happiness. Even buses and office buildings are adorned with birch branches. On the Aland Islands, tall poles are decorated with flowers and leaves, and supper tables are decorated with birch and garlands of flowers. The church made the festival St. John's Day, but the celebration has more pagan overtones than Christian ones.
As Finland's Flag Day, Juhannus is also a national holiday.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland
Department for Communication and Culture
P.O. Box 176
Helsinki, 00161 Finland
358-9-1600-5; fax: 358-9-1605-5901
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 392
References in periodicals archive ?
CONTINUING their open-air theatre tour of the UK, Chapterhouse Theatre Company return to Wales next week with Shakespeare's romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
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a leading provider of multilingual language solutions, is proud to announce that it will be one of the sponsors of the 2017 Swedish Midsummer Festival.
Anvil Productions bring A Midsummer Night's Dream to life in an open air performance at Ucheldre's amphitheatre in Holyhead on Saturday, July 16.
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ACCLAIMED all-male theatre company Propeller return to Newcastle's Theatre Royal tonight with revivals of their hugely successful productions of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night's Dream.