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Little Finland celebrates solstice


June 25, 2018

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

A CROWD watches the bonfire burn Saturday at Little Finland's Juhannus celebration to mark the summer solstice. The day included food, music and dancing, and was capped of with the traditional bonfire celebration. Juhannus, celebrated both in Finland and by Finns around the world, translates roughly to St. John's Day and celebrated Thursday as the longest day of the year.


KIMBALL, Wis. - The 2018 summer solstice was Thursday, with Little Finland celebrating the occasion Saturday with its annual Juhannus celebration.

The day featured a dinner and bonfire; while Gary Schlais, of Mercer, performed polka hits on the accordion.

"What could be better than (this)," Little Finland president Ken Hannula said. "We had a nice turn out today, beautiful weather."

Juhannus, which Hannula said translates roughly to St. John's Day, celebrates the summer solstice.

"It's kind of traditional to do this on the longest day of the year," Hannula said. "There's several of these doings going all over the (Upper Peninsula) too."

The holiday is celebrated both in Finland and by Finnish immigrants in America, according to according to Seija Jarvenpaa, who said the day is "even bigger than Christmas."

Jarvenpaa, who immigrated from Finland when she was 17, said the bonfires in Finland are generally set adrift on a body of water during the celebration.


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