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January 29, 2023

10 Odd but Fun Reasons Why to Visit Finland –

Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for five years in a row and that should be enough of a reason for someone to want to visit the country. However, there are also various unusual activities that Finns like to indulge in throughout the year, which include wife-carrying competitions or even playing soccer in a swamp.

They can seem odd activities but we will take the Finns’ word on it, considering the country’s reputation for being the happiest in the world. SchengenVisaInfo.com has listed some of these activities, which will make you book a trip to Finland first thing tomorrow.

1. Wife Carrying Competition

Let’s get off the table one of the most interesting competitions in the world – the wife-carrying race where the winner is crowned based on how fast one reached the finish line while carrying their spouse. The championship is held in Sonkajärvi every year since 1992. The grand prize for the winner is the spouse’s weight in beer.

While the location remains the same, the championship will be held between June 30 and July 1.

© Josh Willink | Pexels

2. Running 3K to 12K-Length Competitions Wearing Wool Socks

Finns love their warm and cosy socks and don’t want to take them off even when they are running. The Woolsock Run Finnish Championship includes different length competitions starting from 3k to 12k. The Championship will be held in Orivesi, on February 18, with spectators being able to help themselves with hot juice and soup.

© Julia Larson | Pexels

3. Playing Soccer… Outside the Field

Sports are played all around Finland but soccer in mud attracts many people every year in Finland. The Swamp Soccer World Championships are hosted every summer in Hyrynsalmi near Oulu and this year are scheduled for July 14. The popular event gathers nearly 200 teams with more than 2,000 players.

© Cotonbro Studio | Pexels

4. Sledding How Finns Do

Finnish sledging includes a wooden chair on the front and long skis on the bottom. The Kicksled World Championships is a serious sport in the country and it is held every year, with this year marking its 32nd anniversary. See you in Multia, Central Finland on March 10, to have a mud match.

© Yan Krukau | Pexels

5. Swimming Suit Skiing

This activity includes going skiing and then topping it off with a hot sauna session. It was invented by two women who combined the two activities which are quite extreme in terms of temperature and mobility. This year, the event will be hosted on March 9, Jämsä.

© Susanne Jutzeler | Pexels

6. The Sauna Heating World Championships

Saunas are a very important element of Finnish culture. Saunas were first discovered here and this event honours the tradition. Teams are encouraged to dress up for the audience and other competitors. The event will be held in Jyväskylä, on July 8.

© Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

7. Races With Reindeer

In general, Finns like to race, as they host many championships and other competitive events. Whether be it mud in soccer, or running with wool socks, Finns will not step aside to race with reindeer, especially in Lapland where there are as many people as reindeer – a total of 180,000.

In the Annual Reindeer Racing Championships, competitors ski behind the reindeer comparing on a 1,000-metre-long track. You can attend the event on March 25, in Inari.

© Saad Chaudhry | Unsplash

8. Knitting World Championships… for Metalheads

On July 7, all heavy metal lovers and handcrafters will gather in Joensuu for the annual Heavy Metal Knitting World Championships. There are more than 50 heavy metal bands for every 100,000 people and thousands of those that like knitters are also metal heads.

© Caroline Feelgood | Pexels

9. Sleepy Head Day Festival

This event is held in Naantali on July 27, and it starts with an early-morning wake-up call for the Official Sleepy Head of the Year, which is usually a celebrity who is thrown into the sea at 7 am. Finns believe that those who sleep late on this day are lazy and non-productive for the rest of the year.

In addition, there will be a range of different events during this time, including a market with artisan products and a cake competition.

© Ketut Subiyanto | Pexels

10. Looking for Gold

In the Tankavaara Gold Village, families gather for the annual event of the European Gold Panning Championships, which has many categories for all those seeking gold. The winner of each category is the one who finds all the hidden gold first. It will be held between July 20 and 23, 2023.

© Muillu | Unsplash