Sauna, new potatoes, magic spells, skinny dipping, bonfires, and long endless nights. There you have it – Finnish Midsummer, or any time of summer, at its best. Add some mosquitos and/or rain for an authentic feeling. For many, this holiday at the end of June, originally a celebration of the summer solstice, marks the start of summer and holidays. We have summed up the ten best spells, traditions, and treats for you. Happy summer!
1. Bath whisk
There is no Midsummer without the sauna and no sauna without a bath whisk made of young birch branches. The tied together branches form the most essential accessory for the Midsummer sauna. Gently whip your whole body with the whisk, from head to toe. It not only smells heavenly in the heat of the sauna, but it also boosts blood circulation and cleans the skin.
After the sauna, go out and throw the whisk on the roof of the sauna. Climb up and have a look in which direction the stem points. Why, you might ask? Because that is the direction from which your future spouse will appear.
2. Collect flowers and dream of the one
Midsummer is a magical time of the year, especially for the ones in search of love. Some Midsummer spells requires a whole lot of effort, others minimal. If you are wondering about who you will spend your life with, the answer is only one night's sleep away. Pick seven different flowers during the Midsummer eve. Put the bouquet under your pillow when you go to sleep and he or she will appear in your dreams. Sleep tight!
Strawberries are a must during Midsummer celebrations. Eat them as they are, with whipped cream, in a salad, as a purée in a drink or use as a decoration on a cake. Try mixing sweet strawberry liqueur with cold brewed NORD-T.
Basic cold brewed tea recipe
5-8 teaspoons of loose leaf tea per 1 litre of water, depending on the desired strength
Dump the loose tea in a jug. We highly recommend Afloat with Folkboat or Cabin Fever for your ice tea. Pour over cold water. Cover the jug and refrigerate. Steep white or green tea for 6 to 8 hours, steep black or oolong tea for 8 to 12 hours. Once your time is up, strain the loose leaf tea by pouring the it through a strainer. Discard the tea leaves.
4. Flower wreath
Young or old, a boy or a girl, a cat or a horse – a Midsummer wreath suits everyone. Pick a big bunch of wild flowers and get started. How to make the wreath? Well, all methods are good, as long as the end result is a wreath suitable and comfortable for your head. If you're not an experienced wreath maker, you might need some cheering during the process. We offer you the NORD-T Midsummer playlist and also suggest a big pot of tea, hot or cold, depending on the weather. They will give you the zen feeling needed for making a beautiful flower wreath.
6. Midsummer menu à la Nord-T
- Salt baked carrots marinated in Polar Night Cap
- New potatoes
- Wild herb salad with Bear Hug vinaigrette
- Herring marinated in Afloat with Folkboat
- "Toast Skagen" with Finnish dried crickets
- Dark archipelago bread
- Rhubarb marinated in Cabin Fever
7. Skinny dipping
The contrast between the sweaty, hot and often cramped sauna and a swim in a cold freshwater lake or the open sea afterwards, is somewhat magical. So magical, in fact, that many forget about the other traditions and activities, and spend all Midsummer naked, in the sauna and swimming.
8. Midsummer bonfire
A big bonfire reflected on a nearby lake or sea is a mighty Midsummer sight. Historically the bonfire was supposed to scare away evil spirits. Maybe it still does, but it is also a great way to get rid of branches, twigs and leaves from the garden. Many keep the bonfire small, and grill some sausages over the flames for an evening snack.
9. Midsummer bingo
Spells, fun and games, are, as you might now have realised, an important part of Midsummer. Almost as important as the sauna, are the bonfire and flower wreaths. Well, why not mix it up and play some Midsummer bingo. Print out a bunch of bingo cards for your guests and let the games begin. A kiss, a mosquito, a sausage, rain – who will be the first to spot all the Midsummer essentials?
10. Listen to the nature
Single and ready to mingle? Midsummer Eve has all the answers. In the middle of the night, climb up somewhere really high. On the top of a big rock or a hill, for example. Listen carefully, out in the night. The first sound you hear will come from the same direction as your future spouse.