Every July 27th, Finland celebrates an exceptional informal tradition called Sleepyhead Day. Although it is not marked by sleeping a lot, as you might think,…
National Sleepy Head Day in Finland — July 27th
In Finland, they have a holiday called National Sleepy Head Day, or National Sleepy Head Day in English. This holiday takes place on July 27 every year and there are different ways to celebrate it.
Beyond taking advantage of Sleepy Head Day to rest, the Finns try to keep laziness away.
The person who wakes up last in a house is considered the laziest, and there is a widespread belief that, for that person, that year will not be productive.
The tradition of waking up the last person in the house by throwing water in his or her face, or throwing the “slacker” in water, arose based on this belief. On this day, many are thrown into lakes or beaches while sleeping.
The origin of this holiday
This unofficial celebration is very old in Finland and started with a Christian legend.
The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus is a story that has its holiday, celebrated on June 27 in Germany, under the name Day of the Seven Sleepers. From this southern German holiday came Sleeper Day.
The legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus tells the story of how seven Christians were locked in a cave for two centuries, but when the cave was opened, they were asleep and miraculously survived.
Sleepy Head Day in Naantali
A small town called Naantali in Finland celebrates this custom the most.
There they have their Sleeper Day tradition. In their celebration, they choose one “sleeper” a year and throw him into the water of a lake at 7 am.
The interesting thing is that you don’t know who they will throw into the water until the time comes. Usually, they choose someone who has had an impact on the town or is recognized by all the neighbors.
The celebration starts at 5:30, with music and noises in the house to wake everyone up, and join a procession to the lake.