Circumpolar world celebrates midsummer in style


Countries across the European Arctic each have their own special way of celebrating the summer solstice or midsummer.

The longest day of the year is June 21, but midsummer celebrations started June 23 this year and continued throughout the weekend.

Decorating a midsummer pole, singing traditional songs and folk dancing are among the Swedish customs. A meal of potatoes, pickled herring and local vodka follows.

The St. Hans-tradition in Norway includes setting small fires at edge of fiord grilling meat, sausages or fish over the bonfires.

Juhannus Päivä in Finland means a sauna (wood-fired steambaths), bonfires, good food and drink, and family. But every year about 10 Finns drink too much and drown, either by falling out of boats or swimming while intoxicated.

In the old days, people in the Russian countryside celebrated “Ivan Kupala Day.” They burned fires, jumped over the flames and went searching for treasures under the ferns thought to bloom only on midsummer night.

Kitikmeot Community Futures Inc., Job Opportunity – Executive Director
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