More Than the Degree

My favorite 2 Finnish traditions and why

Bonfire during Finnish midsummer

Finnish traditions are some of the most unique and fascinating in the world, and I am lucky enough to have experienced many of them during my time in Finland. From its rich cultural heritage to its vibrant modern culture, Finland is a country that truly celebrates its traditions and I feel very lucky to have been a part of it.

Out of all the amazing Finnish traditions I have experienced, my absolute favorite is Juhannus, the Finnish Midsummer Festival. Juhannus is a time of celebration and happiness, when the whole country comes together to enjoy the longest day of the year and the beauty of Finnish summer.

One of my favorite things about Juhannus is the bonfires that are lit all across the country, symbolizing the bright and long days of summer. People gather around the fires to sing, dance, and make merry, and the atmosphere is just electric. I have never experienced such a sense of community and togetherness as I have at a Juhannus bonfire, and it is a tradition that I will always cherish.

Another aspect of Juhannus that I love is the food. Finnish summer cuisine is simply amazing, and Juhannus is the perfect time to indulge in some of the country's most delicious dishes. From fresh fish to grilled meats and vegetables, there is something for everyone to enjoy, and I always look forward to the feast.

Finally, what I love most about Juhannus is the sense of freedom and joy that it brings. Whether you're spending the day at the beach, exploring the countryside, or simply relaxing with friends, Juhannus is a time to let go of your worries and just enjoy life. It is a time to be grateful for the beauty of nature and the gift of life, and I truly believe that this is what makes Juhannus such a special and beloved Finnish tradition.

In conclusion, Juhannus is my favorite Finnish tradition, and it is a tradition that I hold close to my heart. From its vibrant and joyful celebrations to its delicious food and breathtaking natural beauty, Juhannus is a true celebration of life, and I feel grateful to be a part of it. If you ever have the chance to experience Juhannus, I highly recommend it!

In addition to Juhannus, there are many other amazing Finnish traditions that I have grown to love during my time in Finland. One of these is the Finnish sauna, a central part of Finnish culture that is deeply rooted in tradition and history.

The Finnish sauna is a place of relaxation and rejuvenation, where people come together to sweat, wash, and socialize. The sauna is not just a place to clean your body, but also to clean your mind and soul, and it is an experience that I believe every person should try at least once in their lifetime.

The Finnish sauna is more than just a place to relax and clean your body, it is a cultural institution that has been part of Finnish life for centuries. In Finland, saunas are found in homes, summer cottages, public baths, and even at the workplace. The Finnish sauna is a place for families to gather, friends to socialize, and a place to escape from the stresses of daily life.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Finnish sauna tradition is the ritual of alternating between the hot sauna and the cool lake or snow. This contrast between hot and cold is believed to have numerous health benefits, such as boosting circulation, improving skin, and aiding in relaxation. It is a unique and invigorating experience that I have come to love.

Another aspect of the Finnish sauna tradition is the use of birch branches, or vihta, to gently whip and massage the skin. This practice is called ‘löyly’ and it is said to increase blood flow, improve skin health, and relieve muscle tension. Löyly is a critical part of the Finnish sauna experience and one that I always look forward to.

The Finnish sauna is also a place for communal singing, known as ‘ranteleen’. This is a time to come together and sing traditional Finnish songs, and it is a beautiful and uplifting experience that brings people closer together.

In conclusion, the Finnish sauna tradition is a rich and fascinating part of Finnish culture, and one that I feel lucky to have experienced. From its health benefits to its social aspects, the Finnish sauna is a unique and beloved part of Finnish life, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the country. So, next time you're in Finland, make sure to take a dip in a traditional Finnish sauna and experience this amazing tradition for yourself!

- San

Inside of a sauna
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