Maypoles (“juhannussalko” in Finnish) are really more of a Swedish thing, but since Sweden is right next door, and Finland’s national languages include both Finnish and Swedish, the country has imported the custom. Some say that the phallic-looking pole piercing the circle represents the sexual union between male and female. Supposedly the crossbars were added later as an attempt to Christianize this pagan symbol of procreation. For good luck and a good harvest, the Maypole will remain in place until the next summer solstice.

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