Juhannus/Midsummer 2017

Juhannus/Midsummer 2017

A year ago for our first Finnish Midsummer, we went to a friend's sauna out in the countryside, on the sea. We sat on the beach for a while and ate and chatted and then there was some kind of unspoken signal that got everyone out of their seats and headed toward the sauna: it was time to do the sauna/swim ritual, where you warm up in the sauna, then swim in the cold sea, then repeat. Kind of like ice swimming, but in summer.

Last year, I had thought I could get away with participating in the sauna part but avoiding the swimming. And my friends were like "that's so cute that you think you can pick and choose like that but...no, that's not a thing that can happen on Finnish Midsummer." So I did it all, sauna AND swim. I hadn't thought it was something I would enjoy. But thanks to peer pressure (the super low-key Finnish kind), I tried it, and I loved it!

And then this year, the sauna/swimming was what I was looking forward to the most, at the same friend's sauna, on Midsummer. It was "feels like" 50 degrees and raining (ah, Finnish summer) and going from the sauna to the water and back again was amazing! The girls and I did four rounds.

Our other Midsummer tradition is riding our bikes 33km round-trip to the island of Ruissalo in the morning, and hiking 7km around Lake Savo in the evening. It's a great way to appreciate Midsummer (whatever the weather) - spending as much time in nature as possible. Happy Midsummer!

A certain subset of small talk

June 23rd, outsourced

June 23rd, outsourced