Sunday, 4 July 2010

Midsummer in Finland

Since I'm on the topic of Midsummer, here's one Midsummer related postcard from Finland. :D It's from my postcard pal Suvi in Finland.

The old photos are from Äänekoski, a small town in central Finland. I think the fire in the picture on top is supposed to be a bonfire, although I'm more used to seeing them set up in the middle of a lake, but perhaps that would've been too difficult to arrange..?

The second picture shows a smoke sauna. Smoke sauna is one of the earliest forms of the sauna. It is simply a room containing a pile of rocks, but without a chimney. A fire is lit directly under the rocks and after a while the fire is extinguished. The heat retained in the rocks, and the earlier fire, becomes the main source for heating the sauna. Following this process, the ashes and embers are removed from the hearth, the benches and floor are cleaned, and the room is allowed to air out and freshen for a period of time. The temperature is low, about 60 °C, while the humidity is relatively high. I've never been in one but I can imagine it would be an interesting experience. I'm very much looking forward to going to a "normal" sauna in Finland next month. :)

These weird customisable vegetable stamps were issued earlier this year. I must say I prefer them without the extra bits... They just don't look like proper stamps. :( I also found out recently they are not that original; a set of similar stamps was issued in the UK back in 2003!

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