There are some things that I absolutely LOVE about Finland in the summer and here are my top 10:
1. Sauna. What can I say? I simply cannot wait to get in a hot sauna and totally relax! Especially the one at our summer house which was built over a hundred years ago and has very traditional style with views out to the sea from the windows and the best “loyly” you will find! Afterwards eating some delicious sausages we grilled in foil on top of the sauna stove, teamed with HOT Finnish mustard and a nice cold drink..bliss..For pics from this old sauna plus how my husband came to experience it for the first time go to this post.
2. Forest. The forest has always been very important to Finns. We connect with the forest and live beside it as friends. That’s maybe where our environmental awareness ultimately comes from. Finland is basically covered with forest, I mean you can walk into a forest anywhere. Best thing is some government dudes (or royals lol) didn’t hoard and close it all up from the public. On the contrary, everyone is allowed. There is even a law of “freedom to roam” which gives everybody the right to enter forests, pick wild berries and mushrooms, camp and make fire as long as they don’t disturb anyone with noise, litter or destroying nature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_to_roam
3. Midnight Sun.
There is something magical about the long midsummer nights in Finland!
I love going out to the sea for sailing, fishing, swimming or even water skiing! The Baltic sea is not that salty so swimming in it feels very nice and refreshing!
5. Food. Ahh, another thing I can’t wait for! First thing I want to eat are rye bread with cottage cheese (NOTHING beats the Finnish cottage cheese folks), fresh strawberries (same thing goes for these sweeties and my husband’s favorite) mom’s blueberry pie, baby potatoes with butter and dad’s smoked whitefish :) My mouth just started to water! Oh and not to forget all those ice cream flavors! It’s crazy how people from such a cold climate love ice cream this much.
6. Festivals. The Finns really go all out and enjoy the very short summer we have and you can see this best from the ridiculous amount of festivals we have going on all summer around the country. For every weekend there are literally hundreds of festivals, events and exhibitions going on. There is something for everyone from small kids to seniors to choose from. Apart from some seriously awesome concerts with some big names performing each year, there are some pretty peculiar events such as the “Eukonkanto” (Wife Carrying World Cup) http://www.eukonkanto.fi/en/, “Ilmakitara MM” (Air Guitar Word Championships)http://www.airguitarworldchampionships.com/en/event/agwc-2012, or “Suo Jalkapallon MM”(Swamp Soccer WC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10675003 and believe it or not one of the most popular events of the summer is the Tango Festival http://www.tangomarkkinat.fi/en/index.html Finns love to Tango!
7. Peace. Finland is a country with only five million inhabitants but a large area so we have plenty of space for everyone. People in general don’t like to cause lots of noise and will respect others privacy. It’s easy to find your own quiet spot out there and just enjoy the sounds of the nature.
8. Bonfires. Especially during Midsummer Festival lots of people will be putting up huge bonfires by the sea and lakes. I haven’t been able to enjoy this tradition for a long time so am looking forward to it this summer.
9. Sunsets. I’ve been around the world but still I attest to the fact that some of the most beautiful sunsets can be seen during the summer in Finland!
10. Flowers. I love how I can just go to my backyard at the summer house or any forest and pick up a beautiful colorful bouquet of flowers.