Today (June 21) is the summer solstice - the longest day of the year! For Scandinavian cultures and northern communities like Thunder Bay (where I used to live -- also has a large Finnish population) this day is very important and almost as anticipated as Christmas. These northern latitudes have very harsh, dark winters so midsummer celebrations are definitely called for during the few intensely bright and long days. Because of Finland's location near the Arctic circle, nights during midsummer are very short or almost non-existent. Hyvää Ukon Juhla literally means Happy Daylight Celebration! We may still have a few hours of darkness during our midsummer nights down here in Southern Ontario but that doesn't stop me from celebrating the sunlight .. especially after such a long, wet, dreary spring!