From the cosmopolitan buzz of Helsinki to the stillness and tranquillity of Lakeland and Lapland, there is a uniquely Finnish Midsummer experience for everyone in this, its centenary year

London, UK, 20 June 2017: As locals shake off the spring chill, Midsummer marks not only Finland’s biggest national holiday but also a time to revel in a host of outdoor activities under the midnight sun. The towns and cities of Pori, Kuusamo and Jyväskylä will host special music, dining and sauna events as part of the celebrations.

The city of Pori will be home to one of the pioneering music festivals of Finland between 8th and 16th July, while Kuusamo will welcome a two-day Wild Food Street Market from 5th to 6th August. Jyväskylä, situated in Lakeland will host a sauna festival from 10th to 13th August.

Originally a celebration of the summer solstice, for many modern Finns Midsummer is spent with family and friends at a summer cottage away from the city, enjoying good food and traditional music.

The celebration traditionally welcomes the start of summer, with most Finns beginning their summer holiday on Midsummer Eve. Taking place at the end of June, the midnight sun is a key element in the festivities in the northern parts of Finland, but even in the south of the country visitors and locals alike can enjoy bright skies well into the night.

With the exceptionally long days continuing into July and August, we’ve brought together some of our favourite activities and events happening across Finland this summer.

First held in 1966 the annual Pori Jazz festival will run between 8th and 16th July at the riverfront of Pori city centre and the Kirjurinluoto Concert Park. This year the festival will honour the remarkable careers of two Finnish icons, Tuomari Nurmio and Heikki Sarmanto. Nurmio is one of the most respected and influential rock musicians in Finnish popular music, while Sarmanto is one of the greatest Finnish jazz legends and performed at the very first Pori Jazz festival 52 years ago.

Pop genius Brian Wilson, mastermind of the The Beach Boys and one of the most innovative pop musicians of all time, will make his Pori Jazz festival debut on Thursday 13th July. Hugely popular British band, Jamiroquai will also be making their long-awaited return to Finland playing on Friday 14th July.

“We are thrilled to offer visitors and locals the chance to hear some of Finland’s greatest ever musicians alongside international music stars and indulge in traditional regional food this summer to celebrate Finland’s centenary of independence” said Eva Kiviranta, Visit Finland PR & Media Coordinator for the UK.

For the first time Kuusamo will host a two-day Wild Food Street Market on 5th and 6th August in the centre of town. The event will aim to show travellers and locals alike the abundance of wild food on offer in Lapland and how to cook delicious dishes using the produce. Visitors will be able to taste and buy wild food products from local producers, enjoy delicious meals from stalls and restaurants and purchase traditional local souvenirs.

Further south the Finnish sauna festival in Jyväskylä will be based in and around Lutakko Square and in the historic harbour. The event area will have more than 40 saunas, from small infrared and boat saunas to underwater saunas and saunas fit for 250 people.

Visitors and locals can experience more than just a hot sauna at the Jyväskylä festival with sauna yoga and pilates. Sauna yoga poses are modelled on various yoga styles and practised seated in ambient temperatures. The positions help to relieve tension and stress and the beneficial effects can be felt after the first session.

See visitfinland.com for more information on Finland.

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