TIP OF THE DAY: Watch a short documentary by photo artist Sanna Kannisto about the creation of bird photos at the Hanko bird station.

Dream Day in Hanko

Hanko Cultural Office

Unikeon day is celebrated every year on July 27. It has been celebrated in Hanko since the early days of spa culture, in the late 19th century. Come and join us for a dream day! The procession leaves from Vuorikatu at 8:00 am. The destination is Casino's fountain, where the sleeper is woken up around 8:30.


Sleepless Day, also known as the day of the seven sleepers, is celebrated every year on July 27. The traditions related to it are very old and have their roots in the legend of the seven martyrs, which tells about seven Christian men who lived in the 2nd century. To avoid persecution, the men distributed their wealth to the poor of the city and hid in a cave. When the emperor found out about this, he bricked up the mouth of the cave so that the men would die of hunger and thirst. They fell into such a deep sleep that they slept for 200 years. Sleep Day has been celebrated in Finland since the Middle Ages.

The one who woke up last could be the target of the jackals. It is known that Hanko's swimming club used to tease the person who arrived last for breakfast at Seurantalo. Later Seurantalo was called Brunnshuset and now Casino. The modern day sleep day traditions are inherited from the end of the 19th century, when during the spa culture, the day was part of the repertoire of summer swimming guests. After the outbreak of the First World War and the difficult years that followed, the tradition almost died completely. In the 1920s, the spirit of Hanko's swimming culture changed. Gone were the peaceful walks along the promenades along the beaches and the peaceful sittings on the terraces. We came to Hanko now after speed and dangerous situations.

In the 1930s, the spirit of sleepover day changed again. Until then, only guests of Hanko Kylpylä had participated in the dream day, but now it became open to everyone. The Unikeonkolluee quickly became very popular and hundreds of ?young people of all ages? gathered in Hanko Kylpylä, from where the procession started.

When the participants had gathered at the spa just before seven o'clock, everyone who could fit left on the flatbed trailers, from which they woke up the nearby neighbors. Those who couldn't fit on board ran after, many in their nightgowns and some in their bathrobes. The procession went around the park shouting, at every house, ?Up all the sleepers!? and then proceeded towards Bellevue. From there, the procession turned towards the Casino, where a coffee table was waiting in the ballroom. There, after drinking coffee, we danced for an hour to the rhythm of the spa's orchestra, after which the dance turned into a hose dance and headed towards Plagen for a little dip. Then it is said that it was time for lunch, so the program probably lasted longer than it seems at first glance.

In the 1990s, the unikeko started to be chosen from among local influencers, thanks to which the event calmed down and became more controlled. The sleepover masquerade was moved back to Casino, but the route of the hike remained largely the same. Local theater associations happily participated in the event, entertaining children and adults, and took part in the sleeper train. However, the rush of people like the 1980s has not been seen anymore. Therefore, we will continue in Hanko as long as the city stands and summer comes every year.

The Dream of 2021 is Johanna Pawli.

Photos: Hanko Museum and Tomy Karlsson

This story has been produced Röntgentekno Oywith the support of

Jätä arvostelu

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Listen to the story in Finnish. Narrated by Joachim Thibblin.

Listen to the story in Swedish. Narrated by Joachim Thibblin.