Remembering Lehtisaari

In June 2015 while browsing Facebook I came upon an article about a bonfire at 6 PM in the small island of Lehtisaari. So that’s where the whole family went. Jyväskylä hosts a few bonfires within the city limits and it was the closest. The time of day was also preferable.

As soon as we arrived, it became clear that the island was maintained by the church. Us heathens, however, were fascinated by the rules of the island written in big, bold letters: no smoking, no alcohol. The beach on the opposite shore had, well, the exact opposite code of conduct. So we hopped on a boat. There were a lot of families with small children and a bunch of teen members of the congregation , obviously. Despite the big crowd, the place had a good vibe to it. The sauna was warm and three campfires made sure roasting sausages went on without trouble.

The bonfire was located at the very end of the peninsula and had attracted canoeists and boatmen alike. The weather was perfect. As a rookie hiker I had remembered to pack a knife which I then had to constantly loan to other families. But I’m not without fault, as I noticed when putting the mustard back into my backpack – it had expired in April. Oh well!


The upside of a Midsummer’s Eve in  the city is that you get to improvise: sausage didn’t quite do the trick so we drove home via McDonald’s. Fast food for Midsummer’s, I don’t recall this ever happening!


In July of 2016 the main building in Lehtisaari was burned to the ground. The island was closed for the public for a while but has since been opened (in June 19th). It’s open from Tuesday to Friday from 3 PM to 9 PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 PM to 9 PM. More information (in Finnish) can be found here.

This blog post was published in the Savon Sanomat website in my blog Tavisvägeniltä Raikaa (in Finnish).

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