Midsummer in Original Lapland smells like fresh birch tree and sounds like the crackling of fire in the sauna pit. Enjoying sauna is one of the most important things of the midsummer celebration.
Preparing the wood burning sauna is part of the experience. We carry the wood and fill the water containers, get clean cloths in place and put the refreshments in the cold. The door sides are decorated with birch branches. Many give the sauna a thorough clean right before the special moments of Midsummer.
Vihta is made from birch branches with leaves that have reached a a suitable size. The masters have the skill to make a vihta and tie it with a peeled birch whip in the Finnish style. Often, the right way to make a vihta is passed down from one generation to the next. Vihta can be small or large, dense or a little more loose – the intoxicating scent it spreads and the whispers of löyly on the hot stove are the definition of summer.
For many, sauna by he lake is the only true Midsummer sauna. Cooling off in natural water between baths gets the blood circulating and vitality flowing in the veins. The alternation of cold and hot is addictive and creates a deep feeling of refreshment and cleanliness. The air flows lightly into the lungs and the muscles relax.
Like the Christmas sauna, the Midsummer sauna is also heated for use during the day. You can spend hours in the sauna, the whole evening and even the night. The northern magic of the nightless night makes time seem meaningless. Being present in the moment feels natural.