Ukonvakat - traditional summer celebration

Welcome to the traditional summer celebration!

Kelvänsaari, Finland
Available in Finnish
25 hours
80 spots per experience
Regular price: 90 €
Children: 50 €

What are we going to do

The traditional celebration of the beginning of summer in Tarina-aho, on an island in the middle of Lake Pielinen!

The first Ukonvakat traditional festival includes talks about the relationship between people and Mother Earth and respecting it, rituals related to early summer fertility and honoring the Thunder God, casting spells, dancing and plenty of saunas! On Saturday, a large, magnificent smoke sauna on the beach of Pielinen will warm you up, and on Sunday morning, a traditional wood sauna. Come and rejoice with us!

We are creating this event together, so when you register, you can also tell us if there is a poem, song, story or ceremonial ritual that you would like to share at the event? Or just come listen and participate if it calls to you.

What are Ukovakat?

Ukonvakat is an almost forgotten traditional celebration, which Pielinen Tietäjäkeskus ry (local cultural tradition association) now wants to revive. In the Finnish-Karelian tradition, Ukko was an important god who guaranteed the rain necessary for the cask plantations. In addition to controlling the weather and agriculture, Uko was also believed to help people in many activities and to bring peace and health. Ukonvakoi celebrate the beginning of summer, thank Ukko for the coming harvest and the abundance of summer. Thunderstorms are often organized by the water and specifically in such a way that they are first rowed to the island.

According to tradition, the first Ukonvakat traditional festival in the history of our culture traditional association includes talks about the relationship between humans and nature and respecting it, old folk customs related to early summer fertility and honoring the Thunder God, dancing and good local food from the Pielin area conjured up by chefs who know how to eat, and plenty of saunas! On Saturday, a large, magnificent smoke sauna on the beach of Pielinen will warm you up, and on Sunday morning, a traditional wood sauna.

We travel to Kelvänsaari from the port of Koli, and enjoy the beauty of Pielinen during the boat trip. We pass through Pieni- and Iso Korppisaari towards the atmospheric Tarina-aho, where our association was born and which is like an open-air museum. We have a wonderful interior space with a floor made of pieces left over from the church of the sculptor Eva Ryynänen Paateri, incredible craftsmanship everywhere, and living traditional work. Outside, we enjoy the peaceful lake of Pielinen, where we can be together in peace and enjoy the summer!

Ukonvakat is a traditional celebration, which is often organized specifically by rowing to the island first. Ukonvakat is a communal and village-like celebration where we remember Ukko for the abundance of summer and as the escort of the necessary rains.


Saturday 3.6.
14:00 Departure from Koli Port
Arrival at Tarina-aho, Kelvänsaari. Accommodation and getting to know the place.
15.00 UKONVAKAT - party
Welcome speech
Joint program
18.00 Dinner
19.00 Smoke sauna.
20:30 Boat ride to Koli harbor for those who purchased a day ticket

Sunday 4.6.
8-10:30 am Breakfast and morning sauna.
At 10:30 Ukonvakat programme
12.00 Lunch
At 13:00 Talking stick and singing circle
14:00 Return journey back to the port of Koli

Tarina-aho, Kelvänsaari, Vuonislahti. Tarina-Aho is a unique open-air museum-like treasure in Pielinen, in the middle of the Koli national landscape in Kelvänsaari. Pihapiiri consists of three traditional log buildings, which were originally made with North Karelian handicrafts and later moved to Kelvänsaari. For the young entrepreneur-couple of Tarina-aho "Tarina-Aho is a place that combines nature, Pieline, peace of mind, the simplicity of things and the North Karelian tradition. Arriving at Tarina-Aho is like a trip back in time - busy everyday life and worries leave the mainland when you get on the boat." More information:

Boat transport:

We go to the island off Koli from the port of Koli. Our route passes in front of the peaks of Koli, following the rugged island line of the national park, while enjoying the breathtaking scenery of Pielinen. We organize transportation on the Elektra mahogany boat carved in the late 1960s: the vessel is stylish and comfortable, during the cruise you can either be on deck or in a covered and heated interior. The ship is open seaworthy and suitable for any weather, although for the sake of traveling comfort, we ride slower in bigger waves. The boat can accommodate 10 people at the same time, if we exceed that, we will organize more transport.

We organize accommodation in three different buildings, which are located in the atmospheric courtyard of Tarina-Aho. Accommodation takes place with your own bed linen, although if necessary we can rent them for €10/set (incl. bed sheet, pillow case, duvet cover and towel). The space rental includes the use of the smoke sauna on Saturday evening for an unlimited time. Our large smoke sauna is located on the beach of Pielinen and there is a covered cooling area in front of the sauna. On Sunday morning, a warm traditional wooden sauna.

About Pielisen - the Doer

Pielisen Tietäjäkeskus is a non-profit cultural association. We hope to bring people, creativity, and practical ideas together for the purpose of nature connection and cultural heritage. By Lake Pielinen, we are in our ancestral lands, where the great wisdom carriers and people have lived in close connection with all the seen and invisible realms of nature.

Welcome to join or support our association, and connect with our circles!

Upcoming events

80 spots available
Language: Finnish


This journey requires normal mobility.

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