National Sleepy Head Day in Finland awakes from the legend of a 200-year nap

On National Sleepy Head Day in Finland, the last person sleeping in the house gets dunked.

Legend of the Saints of Ephesus

The Saints of Ephesus cannily slept in a cave for 200 years to escape Roman persecution.

When they awoke, Christians weren’t on the chopping block anymore.

In fact, there were plenty of friendly, even worshipful, Christians around.

The whole divine limbo was a bit too much for the saints.

They died shortly after and were entombed right back in the same cave.

The tradition of the Sleepy Head Day traces back to the Middle Ages.

The first written records can be found from the year 1652.

If you were the last up on that day, the belief was you’d be lazy for the rest of the year!

Or the lazy Finn might end up sleeping 200 years as those Christians did.

The sleepy head was fair game for dowsing, via lake, sea or bucket.

In the city of Naantali, a Finnish celebrity is chosen every year to be thrown into the sea at 7 a.m.

The sleepy head’s identity is kept secret until the last minute.

They take this seriously:  The victim is wrapped in bed sheets and carried to the harbor on a stretcher.

Only when he surfaces from the water can the audience can see who it is.

Every city mayor so far has been dunked, but other sleepers have included the president’s husband, Dr. Pentti Arajärvi, the CEO of Neste Oil Risto Rinne, along with many writers, artists, and politicians.

Unfortunately, they let the politicians back up!

 

Set your alarm for July 27th, Sleepy Head Day.

Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.