Hello, my dear readers
Long time no talk! Today I would like to tell you my thoughts on spending summer in Finland and share my experiences, mentioning JAMK Summer School, which I was attending in June, and the biggest summer holiday in Finland – Juhannus.
On a fine summer day
I am hopelessly in love with Finnish nature, which looks absolutely gorgeous and special during every season. But there is something unique, charming and romantic about Finnish summer. Pure lakes, unbelievably beautiful sunsets, fresh air, green parks and gardens, numerous festivals, fresh berries you can buy on every corner… Finland has everything you can wish for. The atmosphere of Finnish summer just makes you forget all your worries and fills you with a sense of inner harmony and happiness. If you live in Finland, summer is what gives you energy for the rest of the year.
Besides being a great time for relaxation, summer in Finland is a perfect time for sports and active leisure. You will never get bored – there are lots of things to do: trekking, cycling, roller-blading, canoeing, boating, fishing, hiking and so much more! As for me, I enjoy jogging on the forest path by the lake in the morning, breathing fresh air and enjoying magnificent scenery. I also like to play beach volleyball with my friends in the evenings, while the sun is going down. Recently I’ve got a burning desire to try out flyboarding. Looks like lots of fun, doesn’t it?
Hopefully I will be brave enough to do it by the end of summer…
During summertime there are not many people in the Jyväskylä city center, because on a hot summer day every Finn feels the urge to go to the countryside, and I recommend you to follow their example.
This summer the weather was going crazy in June – it was pretty chilly and even snowing one day, but beginning from July it has been pretty warm, 20-30 degrees Celsius, which is best for spending your day by the lake, swimming and sunbathing.
JAMK Summer School
Summer School at JAMK is a great opportunity to learn something new, meet amazing people from all over the globe and travel Finland with them. Summer school usually starts in the beginning of June and lasts for 2-3 weeks. This year I took 3 courses taught by Jesus Belle, which were recommended to me by my friends. It was an awesome choice, a truly unique and unforgettable experience. I have learned so much and earned 9 ECTS.
During summer school tutors organise various leisure activities, which help you emerge into Finnish culture, having fun together. What is more, several weekend trips were organised: students had an opportunity to go Tampere and Stockholm.
One fine morning in the end of June I woke up early because birds were hysterically singing under my window. I looked out of the window and saw a Finnish flag flying high in the blue sky. This usually means:
1. It’s a big holiday;
2. You should have supplied with food before, because today everything is closed, and
3. Your only chance to survive starvation is rkioski or some kebab/pizza place, which may be open;
4. The bus drivers have a day-off too so if you are not lucky to have a car or a friend with a car you will have to walk or bike to the city center from where you are, spending the precious calories.
How could I forget about Juhannus, the biggest summer celebration in Finland? Unbelievable.
Juhannus, also known as Midsummer, St John’s Day, Иванов День, etc. outside of Finland, is celebrated between 20th and 26th of June and indicates the beginning of the “real summer”. An important element of the holiday is the midnight sun. For Juhannus most of the Finns leave cities for countryside cottages, spending time with friends and family, enjoying traditional saunas, swimming in the lake, making huge bonfires by the water (kokko), barbequing, drinking, fishing and boating.
This year it was pretty cold on Juhannus for these activities (for a non Finn) and thus I spent a day in the city center, trying to find some food enjoying the scenery at Jyväskylän satama. Hopefully next year I will find a bunch of Finns to celebrate Midsummer with, in order to learn more about Finnish traditions and to have an original Juhannus experience.
P.S. If you have any requests for the future posts, please let me know in comments. I will try to do my best to fulfil them!