Finland’s National Sleepy Head Day

Samuel Reason | April 26th, 2019

Finland has a national day where people celebrate the sleepy heads of their society. On July 27 each year, if you are the last person to wake up in your household well then you will be woken up in a pretty sudden way! Lifted out of your bed and thrown out into the nearest sea or lake.

Though if your lucky and your family is not that brutal then you may just have a bucket of water poured on your head. This is all done because it is believed that the last person who wakes up on the national sleepy head day is the laziest person of the household – and therefore, needs help to wake up.

And though you may think this is just a fun and silly national day that bears no meaning, it actually has a cultural significance. Honoring the sleepy heads has not just come about by chance, there is actually a Christian myth hiding in this sleepy head day. The event has been made to honor the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, which is a Christian and Muslim myth that translates to People of the Cave. Based on a group of people who hid out in a cave to escape religious persecution in the city of Ephesus.

This Christian version of the myth highlights the story of seven people who were accidentally locked in a cave for two whole centuries. Imagine that, being locked in a cave for 200 years. The incredible part of the story, which makes it a myth, is that when the cave was reopened in 450 AD the seven people trapper were still there merrily sleeping.

This led to the Finnish people deciding it was a way to tease people, that if you did not wake up in time, then you may end up sleeping for 200 years. Actually, the whole country will celebrate this day, but it is especially a big event in the little city of Naantali.

Which is a coastal city located in south-western Finland, if you don’t wake up before 7 am in Naantali on July 27 then you really are at risk of being thrown out into a wild sea.

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