A Conversation for The Perfect Picnic
Picnics in Helsinki
Bob Dodd Started conversation Jul 10, 2001
The Finns are very keen on picnics, so much so it's become a spectator sport...
The two big picnics are on Mayday and Midsummer's day. Mayday because it's the first date in the calendar where the weather is decent enough to even *think* about a picnic, and Midsummer because this lot are all druids. They would deny it of course, but how else would you explain them staying up until midnight on Mid-summer's eve singing traditional folk songs and then lighting a bonfire to celebrate the start of Midsummer's day? Granted not many of them dress up in sheets, but they do dance around in circles.
Back to the picnics. We have a big park in Helsinki and come May 1st, and Midsummer's day, those who haven't gone off to their summer cottages congregate for a mass picnic. Those that get there early get to sit on the grass, get out their picnic hampers and drink cheap champagne. Those that arrive late join what can best be described as "spectators row". The park gets very busy mid-afternoon, and those without space space to sit down take to the paths through the park. The most popular route takes you around in a spiral up to the top of a small hill in the middle of the park, from which you can gaze contentedly on those lucky enough to have somewhere to sit and eat.
As for *why* they do it, I'm not sure. My research so far would suggest it is a combination of climate, vodka, and radiation leakage from mobile phones.
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