Typical Finnish Summer: some characteristics

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It’s summer and vacation time in Finland. We at Finnwards are also ready to start our summer vacation. But before we do, let’s take a look at what characteristics define a typical Finnish summer.

Typical Finnish Summer: time for important family events

Last week in our blog we told you about the Finnish disappearing act. We disappear from work and cities and head to the summer houses. It doesn’t happen just for Midsummer. We do that for a whole month that usually starts at Midsummer or a week after that. 

This disappearing act, however, is not complete. While we leave behind work and work connections, we get close to family during the summer. Summer houses are important also for that aspect of our lives. 

In addition to packing into our small summer houses with our immediate family, during the typical Finnish summer, we get together with extended family members to celebrate important family events. 

In 2020, 39 % of all marriages took place during the summer months. The most popular wedding month in Finland in 2020 was August. Last year, the most popular wedding day was August 8. During the 2010s, July and August have alternated as the most popular wedding month in Finland. 

If you have been invited to a Finnish wedding and are unsure of what’s going to happen, we have a guide for you. Read here what happens at a traditional Finnish wedding. 

Another celebration that often brings together extended family members is confirmation. 

At the start of 2020, 68.6 % of Finns were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Those who have been baptized as babies are usually confirmed around the time they are 15 years old. Confirmation is a church ceremony that takes place at the end of a confirmation class or camp.  

In 2020, 88 % of all 15-year-olds who were members of the Church were confirmed. Of all 15-year-olds, 74 % were confirmed. August is the most popular confirmation month. 

Want to learn more about the nature around you? The “Your Neighborhood Nature in Finland” online course is a fun way to do just that. Get the course from our online store.

Fresh local food

The typical Finnish summer also means local fresh produce. 

Finns especially value new potatoes, peas, and strawberries. 

Last year, farmers produced 8.4 million kilos of new potatoes in Finland. New potatoes usually arrive at grocery stores well before Midsummer. This year, farmers in the southwestern archipelago of Finland harvested the first batches of new potatoes in late May. That’s where the conditions are best for early potato harvests.

Very early in the season new potatoes can be expensive but prices drop quite fast when more harvest becomes available.

Fresh Finnish strawberries arrive at the stores usually around Midsummer. As with the new potatoes, the first ones are quite expensive. The price drops as we move further along the season. 

Last year, farmers produced 18 million kilos of strawberries. An average Finns eat about 3 kg of strawberries per year but the consumption is highly seasonal.

Usually, the best strawberry season is around mid to late July. This is when Finns buy them to preserve them for the winter. Finns freeze strawberries and make them into jams. Different varieties are better suited for different things. So if you are planning on preserving them, ask the farmer for suitable varieties for your purposes. 

This year the strawberry season started a few weeks early. So, varieties suitable for freezing are available now. 

Fresh peas arrive at farmers’ markets and stores later on in the summer. Finns buy them by the bag full and just munch on them.  

If you want to buy your fresh produce directly from the farmer, here’s a link to a service that allows you to find farms selling their produce directly to consumers. At some farms, you can go and pick the produce yourself. Some farms sell already harvested produce. The service is in Finnish and Swedish only. 

If you want more information about local produce, check out our blog from last summer. In it, we advise you how you can eat your way through Finland.

Typical Finnish Summer: indulgence

The typical Finnish summer also means indulgence. 

Indulgence means, for example, barbequed sausages. Last year between May and September, grocery stores sold approximately 12.5 million kilos of sausages. In Midsummer 2020 alone, grocery stores ordered about 1.6 million kilos of sausages. This means about 19 million individual sausages. 

The S group reports that there are regional preferences when it comes to our taste in sausages. For example in Ostrobothia, the more traditional barbeque sausages are popular. In the south, people prefer more meaty sausages and also vegan options. 

During the summer, Finns eat a lot of ice cream. In 2019, Finns eat about 13 liters of ice cream per year

The S group again tells us that there are regional differences in our ice cream preferences. In Northern Ostrobothia and Lapland, licorice-flavored ice cream is popular. Strawberry ice cream, instead, is popular in South Carelia and Kainuu. People in southwestern Finland, particularly in the Rauma and Turku region, like nutty flavors. 

As we have discussed before, Finns have a reputation for being heavy drinkers. Finns have, however, gradually eased up on their drinking since 2007. Converted into 100 % alcohol, Finns consumed about 8.2 l of alcohol per adult over 15 years of age in 2020. 

Alcohol purchase statistics show that June, July, and December see peaks in alcohol sales in Finland

During the summer, white and rose wines, as well as sparkling wines, are consumed more than other times of the year. 50 % of all rose wine sold in Finland is sold during the summer months. The sales of cider go up by 40 % during the summer. So does, for example, the sales of white wines. 

So, eat, drink, be merry and enjoy the Finnish summer!

We will be taking a blogging break and return with new topics in early August. 

Learn more about Finnish nature and all the things it can offer you. The course includes a 30-page recipe booklet to help you enjoy the offerings. Get our “Your Neighborhood Nature in Finland” online course from our online store.

The mission of Finnwards is to help internationals thrive in their life abroad. We provide coaching, consulting, and training services that help them do just that. Check out our Services for Businesses and Organizations or our Expat Inspiration Catalog for more information! While we serve internationals and their employers all over the world, our specialty is Finland. With our help, internationals can build a uniquely Finnish life for themselves and their family. In addition to the coaching, consulting and training services, we also offer a wide selection of self-guided online courses about Finland. Contact us and let us help you or your employees succeed in their professional and private lives abroad and in Finland.

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