Finland is not only home to Santa Claus, but wife-carrying competitions and birch-whipping sauna culture.
Finland keeps calling me back. Even though I never planned to visit the country, I’ve been to the land of a thousand lakes and a million trees four times. I grow fonder of the country, the landscape and the people with each hello (although Helsinki has never greeted me with sunshine).
Here are a few reasons why you might like it too…
A mix of east and west and north!
Experience the sauna culture
It’s a land of contrasts
Be dazzled by the full bloom of Summer, and laze under the midnight sun. Come the turn of Autumn, the forests will turn a brilliant shade of yellow. The magical Northern Lights will dance above you in the darker months.
Visit Santa Claus in Lapland!
Watch a ‘wife carrying’ competition.
Yep, it’s the land where strong men race to carry females on a special obstacle track in the fastest time. The minimum weight of a wife must be 49 kilograms, and different divisions include piggyback, fireman’s carry (over the shoulder) or Estonian-style (the wife is carried upside-down).
Those damn overalls
This was a post I wrote for a friend for AFS intercultural programs. They were trying to convince students to go to Finland… so I ended with:
Oh, and by the way, did you know that Finland has one of the best education systems in the world?
- Arktikum: Arctic learning in Rovaniemi, Finland (thefourthcontinent.com)
- Real community building: a wooden house without nails (thefourthcontinent.com)
- 10 things the foreigner sees in Amsterdam (thefourthcontinent.com)