Midsummer may simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place around the 24th of June and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between cultures.
Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after the Finnish god Ukko. In e.g. Karelian tradition, many bonfires were burned side by side, the biggest of which was called Ukko-kokko (the "bonfire of Ukko"). After the celebrations were Christianized, the holiday is known as juhannus after John the Baptist (Finnish: Johannes Kastaja).
Since 1955, the holiday is always on a Saturday (between June 20th and June 26th). Earlier it was always on June 24th.
This is the time when the day is the longest and in Lapland the sun does not go down at all. In the south we have about 3 hours which could be described as dark. It is not so easy do decide where to draw the line because here the dark never comes in an instant.
People burn bonfires all over Finland nowadays, unless it is too dry to do that. Many people spend the weekend in their summer cabins but an increasing amount of young people spend the holiday among friends instead of the family and go to midsummer festivals or even spend the time in the city.
According to tradition a fern blooms only on midsummer night. When you see it blooming, you should pick it up and it gives you magic powers.
The bonfire has predicted future marriages. The top of the big heap falls to the direction of the house which will get their daughter married next (obviously that has been very important at some point). The direction of the smoke shows the person who will be married next.
If you use two mirrors facing each other and look in the other mirror, you will see the future fiancée in the other mirror.
Many of these spells have to be performed naked.
Here is another option for girls: after the bonfires you should roll over naked in the rye fields of houses which have unmarried boys.
Another magical feature of rye fields: If you run from the sauna naked along the ditches of the rye field, you will run into your fiance in the 9th ditch :) This might be hard nowadays. Most of the fields have covered drains...
If you circle around a triangular field on midsummer night 3 times and on the third round you will meet the future spouse.
You will see your spouse to be when you on the midsummer night go to sit on the rock of a waterfall naked except a straw belt.
And a mysterious thing. If a girl sweeps her bedroom floor on the midsummer night, with only a red ribbon on her waist, her fiancée's ghost will come to see her.
I guess the traditions remained after the Christianity but the rituals had to be cleaned a bit. One of the ritual involves the hymn book: You have to keep it in your hand and run 7 times clockwise around the biggest stone on the yard. When you come back to the stone ion the midsummer night you will see your fiance to be.
If you throw the vihta on the roof of the sauna after bathing, the direction where the fiancée will come from will be shown by the vihta. The right direction is where the wooden handle is dericted.
Another version of the same spell is to collect all the 7 flowers from different meadows.
Or you have to use nine straws of grass to make this wreath of flowers:
I am married and don't need any rituals to get a husband. Additionally getting a husband is not an issue any more. I just wonder why you have to get so old before you can respect your inheritance.
Happy Juhannus, midsummer and solstice!