Messi-esque technical moves are not likely to pay off here. The pitch is a swamp, there’s no offside rule and, as is customary, whoever scores the most goals, wins. Well, now you’re prepared for the swamp footy World Cup in Hyrynsalmi, North East Finland. Don’t lose your boots in the mud…
Say what? Can’t compete in berry picking? Sure you can. The current record will be a tough one to beat, though – 27,98 kilograms of lingonberries in an hour! There’s prize money, too, and entering is free, so why aren’t you heading to Suomussalmi in Eastern Finland already?
So you act and party like a rock star but never bothered learning to play an instrument? Here’s a chance to strut your stuff on stage, no musical talent needed! According to the ideology of the Air Guitar, wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear, if all the people in the world played the Air Guitar.
This “discipline” dates back to the 19th century, if legend is to be believed. Local villain Ronkainen used to swing his favourite girl on his shoulders and leg it, an act duplicated by competing couples at the World Championships, staged annually in Sonkajärvi, Eastern Finland since 1992. The length of the official track is 253.5 metres. Its surface is partially sand, grass and asphalt and it has two dry obstacles and one water obstacle, about a meter deep.
That smartphone made the old Nokia redundant now, did it? We beg to differ. Let that piece know who’s boss and hurl it towards the Milky Way! Contestants may be relieved to learn that there will be no doping tests.
For those not familiar with the kick-sled, it’s something used to glide on snow, kind of like a wintertime scooter. Kind of. Well, they too can be raced, as the competition in Multia, Central Finland proves.
Announcing the fact that it takes place in a hole in the ice usually sends the first batch of enthusiasts right back into their warm attire. This is actually done as a hobby all over Finland, but lately, has evolved into an international competition sport. Try it! You might be surprised.
Kaljakellunta, also known as “Beer Floating”, is an annual open festival that has no official organiser. During this silly event thousands of participants float down the Kerava or Vantaa river in various kinds of inflatable boats and self-built rafts, whilst enjoying a drink or two. The festival has been carried out yearly on either the last weekend of July or the first weekend of August.
The land of 3 million saunas is upgrading and re-inventing their centuries-old tradition attracting the curiosity of many sauna aficionados. In some cases, quite exceptional saunas can be visited just within city limits.
There is an exciting renaissance in craft brewing and distilling around the world and Finns are making a name for themselves with their own local brands. Small batch artisanal breweries and distilleries are a natural compliment to the Slow Food Movement which aims to preserve regional culinary traditions. Having never lost its connection to the past or its pioneering spirit, Finland is well positioned to produce unique products that evoke both nostalgia and a sense of adventure.