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Midsommar Midsommar Glad Midsommar! / Happy Midsummer! 💕🌹🌸🌼🌻🌺🏵️🌷💕

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Juhannus

Now, in midsummer, Finnish people are celebrating this thing called Juhannus: it’s basically a celebration of midsummer and light, which we indeed have a lot of this time of year. I’m sure other countries have similar celebrations, but I thought I’d tell you how we celebrate it here in Finland!

So, first, the name juhannus actually comes from Christianity: some people say it’s the birthday of the Saint that baptized Jesus! John The Baptist. The Finnish form of the name John is Johannes, so johannes, juhannus, see where the name comes from? However, I know exactly 0 people who really celebrate juhannus because of that. It used to be a festival related to the old religions here, from the time before Finland became Christian.

Happy Midsummer! - Trevlig Midsommar!- Hyvää juhannusta!
Happy Midsummer! – Trevlig Midsommar!- Hyvää juhannusta!

When do we celebrate it, exactly? Well, since 1955, juhannus has been celebrated – in Finland and also in Sweden, but probably not as juhannus – on the Saturday between the 20th and 26th of June. This year juhannuspäivä (”juhannus day”) falls on 24th of June, while juhannusaatto (”juhannus eve”), which is when most of the celebration takes place, is 23rd of June.

How do we celebrate? The most common way is to get together with friends, maybe go to a summer cottage, by the sea or one of our 187 888 lakes, and get drunk. Of course. Finns love all the holidays that give us a reason to get drunk. It’s a little sad, really.

Of course, when you’re drunk, it’s a great idea to go for a swim, especially if you can’t actually swim while sober! That is why many people drown during juhannus, I checked the news just a while ago and already two people had done just that. It’s… also pretty sad, really.

Anyway, there are also people who don’t get terribly drunk on juhannus. The way most people usually spend juhannus is that we go to their summer cottage in the beautiful Turku archipelago,  go swimming , go to sauna, roast or barbecue sausages, and just enjoy the summer with the whole family.

Turku

And, of course, a crucial part of celebrating juhannus is the juhannuskokko. Bonfires are burnt around the country. It’s a tradition! It was originally used to fend away evil spirits, I’ve heard.

There are also specific ways to decorate your house during juhannus. The most common and simple way is perhaps the juhannuskoivu. People cut down small, young birch trees and tie them to the doorposts of the front door of the house. The same thing is practiced in Sweden, too, which is not a big surprise since  Finland has been influenced by Sweden quite a lot. I mean, also not a surprise, since Sweden invaded Finland and stayed  for ~600 years. Another common decoration are just… flowers. In my experience, at least.

In Finland’s Swedish-speaking areas and in Åland juhannussalko is a tradition too. It’s also used in Sweden, as well as similar things being used in other European countries, but usually during some other time than midsummer. It’s called a maypole in English, a tall, wooden pole decorated with flowers and such. People dance around it, and, I’m sure a lot of people know what they’re for.

I mentioned sauna very quickly, but it is a tradition to go to sauna on juhannus. It’s called juhannussauna. You’re supposed to make a fresh vihta or vasta  – there is a lot of debate on which is the correct word – from the branches of the juhannuskoivus you just cut from the forest, though any birch tree is fine. When the vihta/vasta is made around juhannus, the leaves are as big as they’ll get but also still soft, so they’re perfect for what you’re supposed to use them for – hitting yourself and everyone else in the sauna with you.

Yes, that is really their purpose, but you’re not supposed to hit them so hard it hurts, just… Hit them. Carefully. Not as if you were whipping them to death with a bunch of birch sticks and leaves. People do this other than on juhannus, too, by the way. I’ll make a post about saunas someday, so I’ll talk more about vihtas/vastas too.

There are also a lot of music festivals in Finland during summer, and juhannusfestarit is a thing.There are other, smaller celebrations too, of course, and there is the event called juhannustanssit. People get together to… dance, really, and probably also to drink. I don’t know, I’ve never been to one, as far as I remember.

Then, there is also the most important part of juhannus… Juhannustaiat! Juhannustaika is like a “spell”, usually to try to find our your future spouse or to get a good harvest. For most spells you had to be naked for them to work, had to run around fields and saunas and look into wells and jump over brooks and stuff, all while naked. There is, however, one juhannustaika that is still practiced to this day (not saying that the others aren’t, but I personally haven’t done any of those) though probably not that seriously.

It’s very simple, and I’ll tell you how to do it, so you can use it some juhannus, wherever you live! If you can find flowers nearby, I mean. Anyway, it goes like this:

  1. Go outside.
  2. Find 7 different types of flowers.
  3. Pick at least 1 of each type of flower. (Some versions say you have to be naked while picking them, but it’s not necessary.)
  4. Go back inside.
  5. Place the flowers under your pillow.
  6. Go to sleep with the flowers still under your pillow.
  7. Dream.
  8. You should see your future spouse in the dream.

Dating tips from DREV to you all. <3 And happy midsummer, hyvää juhannusta! (Or what’s left of it!)

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society

Celebrating Extraodinary Women

Women is the being who casts the greatest shadow or the greatest light in our dreams Charles Baudelaire

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society

Femmes d’exception

 S’il y a une journée des femmes, il devrait y avoir aussi une journée des hommes », cela m’attriste que les gens ne réalisent pas que c’est une journée des hommes tous les jours. C’est une journée des hommes au travail où les femmes sont moins payées, c’est une journée des hommes à l’école quand on dit aux petites filles qu’un garçon qui vous frappe vous aime probablement, c’est une journée des hommes où toute femme est victime de violence domestique, c’est  la journée des hommes quand une femme est agressée sexuellement, c’est une journée des hommes lorsque les parents choisissent d’envoyer leur fils à l’école plutôt que leur fille même si c’est son droit humain fondamental, c’est la journée des hommes chaque fois qu’un bébé est abandonné par sa famille parce qu’elle est née un fille, c’est la journée des hommes chaque fois qu’une femme est appelée ” chatte” , pelotée, molestée, violée et soumise à la violence domestique.  

La journée des femmes est le jour où les femmes se sentent habilitées en tant que communauté à se défendre les unes les autres. C’est le seul jour où les femmes peuvent dire que je suis une femme de cette société et je ne serai pas traitée de cette façon.

 Pourtant, dans un monde d’hommes, nous ne pouvons même pas avoir un jour en l’honneur des femmes.
HEUREUSE JOURNÉE DES FEMMES À  VOUS TOUTES BELLES DAMES
💖💖

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society

Extraordinary Women

If there’s a women’s day there should be a men’s day as well” it saddens me that people fail to realize that it’s a men’s day everyday. It’s a men’s day in the workplace when women are paid less, it’s a men’s day in the school when little girls are told a boy who hits you probably likes you, it’s a men’s day when any woman is a victim of domestic violence, it’s a men’s day when any woman is sexually assaulted, it’s a men’s day when parents choose to send their son to school rather than their daughter even tho its her basic human right, it’s men’s day whenever a baby is abandoned by her family because she was born a girl, it’s a men’s day whenever any woman is catcalled, groped, molested, raped, and subject to domestic violence.

The women’s day is the one day when women feel empowered as one community to stand up for each other. It’s the one day that women can say that I am a woman of this society and I shall not be treated this way.

Yet, in a man’s world, we have can’t even have one day in honor of women.
HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY TO ALL YOU BEAUTIFUL LADIES OVERTHERE 💖💖

Categories
society Travel

Travel tips : How to fight jet lag

 Between plane, formalities etc …, it is my super assistant Enora who has the duty to post this article, which recapitulates my advice and others to fight against jet lag. Not exhaustive of course, but at least I hope this will help you.

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society

Welcome 2020

Say a joyous farewell to 2019 and greet 2020 with a smile and an open heart 🍾🍷🍸🍹🍺🍻🥂🥃🎆🎇🎊🎉😊.

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society

Death in Venice Acqua Alta

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.

– Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

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society

Shiru castle

Shuri Castle – Okinawa. UNESCO Cultural Heritage burned down in Okinawa and NOBODY is talking about it.

Shuri Castle (首里城 Shuri-jōOkinawanSui Gushiku) is a Ryukyuan gusuku in Shuri, Okinawa.

Between 1429 and 1879, it was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom, before becoming largely neglected.

In 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, it was almost completely destroyed. After the war, the castle was re-purposed as a university campus. Beginning in 1992, the central citadel and walls were largely reconstructed on the original site based on historical records, photographs, and memory.

On the morning of 31 October 2019, however, the main courtyard structures of the castle were destroyed in a fire.

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society

Dia de los muertos

Mexican tradition believes that on the eve of Día de Muertos the souls of the departed come back to visit, staying by their loved ones till the sun rises. ¡Feliz Día de Los Muertos! ❤️💀❤️ It is never too late to remember those who are no longer with us…

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society

Imperial Wedding

Prince Jean-Christophe Napoleon married on Saturday in the Invalides, Paris, the Countess Olympia d’Arco Zinneberg, a descendant of the wife of Napoleon I, Marie-Louise of Hasbourg-Lorraine, second wife of the Emperor and mother of the King of Rome said l’Aiglon.