holiday rental in Helsinki and enjoy this unexpected and understated northern jewel. Want to learn more about this enigmatic culture before you visit? Then read on and discover the unusual festivals this country’s renowned for, and you may be left more than a little intrigued.
It is often said that one can learn a lot about a country and its people, by simply observing some of their cultural festivals. If that’s the case, the Finnish are abound to be a weird and wacky lot. While we can all agree that when one lives in a country shrouded in oppressive winter darkness for over six months of the year, one is bound to find eccentric ways to entertain oneself, some of the following festivals do leave us somewhat bewildered.
The Wife Carrying Festival
In most countries, completing an obstacle course in record time is reason enough to celebrate, yet in Finland this considered rather whimpy. Complete an obstacle course in record time WHILE CARRYING YOUR WIFE ON YOUR SHOULDERS and you can hope to impress the Finnish!
We’re quite sure the annual Wife Carrying Festival, held in the town of Sonkajärvi, started as a joke between two mates, yet it has turned into a tradition of colossal proportions. It may be a while before we see it included in the Olympics event calendar, yet it has been exported to countries like the US and Hong Kong, so maybe there is something to it. The winner’s reward is paid in beer, and is directly proportionate to the size of the wife; so should you happen to see some muscled Fin spoon-feeding his wife copious amounts of chocolate cake, consider it training.
World Mobile Phone Throwing Competition
Now here’s a festival we can all relate to. Have you ever the urge to throw your mobile phone out the window? Next time you do, hold onto your electronic gadget and head to Finland in August (specifically, the town of Savonlinna) and take part in this most satisfying Mobile Phone Throwing tournament. Points are awarded for distances reached, while extra-brownie points can be gained for ‘creative and ingenious’ throwing techniques. This particular festival starts to make complete sense when one is reminded that Finland is home of the NOKIA mobile phone company.
Ant-Nest Sitting Festival & more…
Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if we all just sat on ant-nests and persevered while the nasty critters eat their way through to our internal organs? No? Hmmmm….
Along with the mosquito-swatting, milk-stool throwing and air-guitar festivals, the ant-nest sitting competition rates as one Finland’s weirdest festivals by far. Seriously, how much beer could make this torture worthwhile? If only they combined this with the annual ice-hole-swimming festival we may even contemplate joining.