On holidays in Finland: Discovering the strangest Finnish traditions
We spent a few days in Finland and we must admit that we’re amazed by that country. It’s much more advanced than we were expecting!
But, as in any country, Finland also has some traditions and facts that are a crazy thing. Even Rafa was staggered!
And we’re sharing these traditions and facts with you! As such, if you’re curious, keep reading this article!
1 – Extra crazy sports competitions
Forget those mainstream competitions. In these Nordic lands, there are those men who compete on Wife-carrying! This world championship has been held every year since 1997. The goal is to cover a 250 metres circuit, as an obstacle race (some in the water) in the shortest time possible. All with their wife on their back.
The prize is an amount of money or… their wife’s weight in beer! So we guess we’d better start running and getting fat! 🙂
Did you know that wooden horses do run as well? Oh yeah!
Hobby Horse is mostly practised by women and is nothing more than a kind of horseback riding…but without a horse! What makes this practice different is the use of a wooden horse to simulate running along routes similar to those of riding, even simulating the step, trot and gallop of a horse…but without it! Does it seem confusing? Quite a lot, but it does have an annual place in national competitions!
We could be here for a long time telling you about all the weird sports competitions in this country, but we share here a shortlist so that you understand that, around here, almost anything goes:
- Mosquito hunting
- Mobile phone throwing
- Swamp football/swamp soccer
- Wellie wanging/boot throwing
- Air guitar
2 – They celebrate “different” national days
Being sleepy is not a nice thing. But in Finland, it can be, as it has a dedicated commemorative day!
On National Sleepy Head Day, celebrated on June 27th, the last person to wake up in the morning takes a bucket of water or is thrown into the sea. It sounds like a perfect day to pull a rummy all-nighter, doesn’t it? 🙂
In turn, failures are not forgotten as well. On Finland’s National Day for Failure, October 13th, bad news and bad luck are celebrated as a way to learn about the future. It in 2010 and, since then, all failures are to be celebrated!
3 – Heavy Metal was born in Finland
Finland also means many Heavy Metal bands per square meter! It is true! It was here that Heavy Metal was born, as they have the largest number of bands of this type of music per person. In summer, one of the main attractions is the music festivals. It’s spread not only in Helsinki but also in neighbouring cities. There are even heavy metal bands for children. There is no escape! 🙂
4 – Great creations
Yes, Finns invented several well-known things that may seem pretty normal nowadays:
- Heart rate monitor
- Linux operative system and the first internet browser (made by Linux)
- Ice skating
- The Angry Birds video game,
- Cocktail Molotov,
- The SMS
- The sauna.
5 – There are more saunas than cars
Saunas are this country’s best-known invention. There’s, on average, a sauna for two people. For 5 million Finns, there are 3 million saunas in several different places such as an airport lounge (Finnair airline, Helsinki airport), in a Burger King, on a Ferris wheel or even at workplaces. All places are valid for sweating a little! 🙂
6 – Here lives Santa Claus
Did you believe in Santa Claus as a kid? We may continue with this beautiful belief because the white beard old man actually exists and lives here. In Finnish Lapland, north Finland, near Rovaniemi town, it is possible to find, not only Santa Claus’s house, but also an entire village with an official address, dedicated to this legend!
7 – Addicted to coffee
As Portuguese people, Finns are coffee fanatics too, but with much higher numbers! Finland has the highest coffee consumption per person in the world. Each person drinks around 12 kg of coffee per year! Compared to Portugal (4.7 kg), we still have a long way to go!
8 – Excellent air and water quality
Helsinki has some of the cleanest drinking waters of any major city in the world. Kilpisjärvi in Lapland has the cleanest air in Europe.
9 – There is no fixed amount for speed tickets
No, fines are not chosen according to police friendliness.
In fact, in Finland, speed tickets are calculated according to the income of each offender. Come on, Portugal, take some notes on this! 🙂
10 – Amazing natural shows
To finish off, we tell you about the beautiful exhibitions that Nature does here in Finland – the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights – and you don’t even need to buy a ticket!
In June and July, the sun does not set in further north regions, above the Arctic Circle, in the region of Lapland. Sunlight is seen for almost 24 hours. In winter, the opposite happens; there are only about 3 or 4 hours of sunlight a day. It’s the Midnight Sun!
When you come to Finland, you will learn that the Northern Lights are nothing more than the impact of particles from the solar wind on Earth’s upper atmosphere. That gives rise to an unrivalled light and colour phenomenon!
Despite its long cold winters, this is considered the happiest country in the world for four years in a row! Finland is a charming country that we strongly advise you to visit! You won’t regret it!
Watch our video about all these Finland facts and enjoy our scenario in the hotel room! Luckily we didn’t get caught up in this mess! 🙂
Kisses, hugs and licks
Sara, Pedro and RAFITA 🐶