August and september evenings are quite dark but still wonderfully warm and full of the intoxicating scents of flowers and the ripening harvest. It is the ideal time to organise harvest festivals, crayfish parties and celebrations of light. Any excuse to celebrate is all right, as long as Finnish fruits of the garden, forest, lake or sea play a leading role.
In Finland, the Venetian fêtes are events held on the last weekend of August to celebrate the end of the boating and summer cottage season. Historically, they are celebrations of water, fire and light and originate from Venetian carnivals. Essential to their success are a nice group of people, the right attitude and impressive light decorations.
Crayfish parties are a great reason to invite friends and relatives around. Glasses are raised and the revellers enjoying song, good company and a happy atmosphere. Finnish crayfish are of course at the centre of everything. But truth to tell, you can’t fill your belly only with crayfish so usually there are also other things to eat. It’s traditional not only to invest in delicious food, but also an impressive table setting and atmospheric lighting
Forest fire warnings must also be taken into account, particularly this summer when almost the whole country has been exceptionally hot and dry. Decorative LED chains and lanterns are now and will always be a trouble-free and safe solution to the construction of party lighting.
If you are holding your party on a beach or at a cottage with no electricity, you can decorate the venue with solar- or battery-powered lights. Solar LED lanterns and decorative light chains are handy garden decorations and at their best during darkening August evenings.
Party-throwers on a tight budget often organise bring-a-dish parties in late summer. The table setting can very well be made with plates that don’t match. If there is a lack of furniture, ask the neighbours to bring their own chairs around. A laid-back milieu creates a bohemian and liberal atmosphere, and a communal picnic evening is a sure-fire success. Themed decorations do not even always need to be bought separately for each party. An LED light chain bought for Christmas looks lovely by a summer cottage door, on a shoreside birch tree or entwined in the branches of a berry bush.
Pictures: Airam archive, students of the Lahti Diaconia Institute