Midsummer Holiday Begins
Today is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and Finns start to celebrate the Midsummer – or Juhannus – holiday. In Helsinki the sun came up at 03:54 and won’t set tonight until 22:50. In parts of Lapland the sun won’t set at all, and will stay in the sky 24/7 at this time of year creating the ‘white nights’ of summer. Today is also the busiest day on the road for Midsummer traffic. Roads are expected to be particularly busy in the afternoon and evening, and the worst congestion on Highway 9 between Tampere and Orivesi. Roads could stay busy with cars until Friday afternoon. Passengers at train stations and airports should also brace themselves for congestion too.
Finnish Experts Helping Torture Victims
Mental health experts at Helsinki’s Deaconess Institute are at the forefront of helping refugees who have suffered from the trauma of war and torture in their own countries, before arriving to start a new life in Finland. Staff are treating up to 220 people, including children, at the centre. Patients come from 24 countries including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Syria; and African states like D.R. Congo. They are affected by conflict or imprisonment in their homeland, and by the rigours of the journey to get to safety, and then also by the stresses of adapting to life in Finland. Read more about the symptoms of torture, and how the Deaconess Institute staff help treat the victims in our original story here.
Barack Obama To Visit Finland
Former US President Barack Obama will visit Finland at the end of September. He is booked to speak at the Nordic Business Forum which takes place in Helsinki at the end of the month. The event brings 7,500 business leaders and entrepreneurs from more than 40 countries to the capital, where this year discussions take place around the themes of strategy, performance and artificial intelligence. “It’s great to have President Obama at our event as the keynote speaker, he’s certainly our most important guest ever” says Hans-Peter Siefen, Chairman of the Nordic Business Forum.
Thursday Morning Weather
It’s a fairly sunny start to the Midsummer holiday weekend – except in the far north of Lapland where it’s cloudy, and in Turku where there’s rain this morning. The rest of the country will enjoy bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-teens.