The numerous Finland events and Finland festivals that
are held around the country throughout the year are sometimes
a bit strange, but rarely dull. From the Wife Carrying
World Championships in July to the St. Patrick’s
Day Parade in Helsinki in March,
the events in Finland cover a wide range of interests
and topics, so you’re bound to find at least one
that is worth adding to your Finland
vacation itinerary. When you include one or more of
the Finland events or festivals in your Finland trip,
it will likely end up being a major highlight, providing
you with memories to last a lifetime. You’re certainly
not bound to soon forget the Air Guitar World Championships,
for example, whether that’s a good thing or not.
The Air Guitar World Championships is held in the city of Oulu, and it has to be one of the more bizarre Finland events. Every September, air guitar masters meet in Oulu to see who’s got the best skills, and it makes for a quite a show. Just as bizarre, and even more popular is the Wife Carrying World Championships, which is held in the southeastern town of Sonkajarvi. In this event, husbands navigate a difficult obstacle course with their wives on their backs, and the husband that makes it around the course the fastest wins his wife’s weight in beer. Couples also compete for prizes for best costume, most entertaining couple, and the strongest husband. Interestingly enough, Estonians have dominated this most peculiar of peculiar events in Finland since 1998, which was the second year that the event was held. Other wife carrying events have sprung up across the planet, but the Sonkajarvi event is the original one.
Not all of the Finland festivals and events are as bizarre as the aforementioned ones. The Helsinki Festival, which takes place in late August and early September, focuses on the arts. Dance, theater, music, and cinema performances are among the highlights of this highly-revered festival in Finland. Started in 1968, the Helsinki Festival has become the largest cultural festival in the country, and is wildly popular with visitors from around the world. Both Finnish and international performances are held during the festival, which lasts for seventeen days. To the northeast of Helsinki, the town of Savonlinna, which is home to one of the most impressive castles in Finland, is where another renowned cultural event takes place. The Olavinlinna Castle sets the stage for the Savonlinna Opera Festival, which runs for the better part of a month between July and August. The number of performances is impressive, and like the Helsinki Festival, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy one or more due to the festival’s length.
Summertime is definitely when the bulk of the top Finnish festivals and events take place, and other summer Finland festivals that might interest you include the Tampere Floral Festival and the Midsummer Festival. The former is held in the city of Tampere in July and August, and it is about more than just flowers. traditional Finnish food can be sampled during the festival, and you can also enjoy wine-tastings in the Wine Village. Other Tampere festivals that take place in the summer are the International Salsa Festival and the Tampere Flamenco Music Festival. As for the Midsummer Festival, it takes place on an island in the Finnish archipelago and is held in June. The island is Seurasaari, and among the highlights of the Midsummer Festival are the rowing races, the summer solstice bonfires, and the young couple that actually marries during a real wedding ceremony.
As for Finnish festivals and Finland events in the northern Lapland region, the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankyla is among the most popular, as is the International Folklore Festival, which takes place in the Lappish capital of Rovaniemi. The Midnight Sun Film Festival takes advantage of the extended summer sunlight hours that occur in places near the Arctic Circle, and each year, famous surprise guests appear, attaching considerable credibility to the festival. The International Folklore Festival in Rovaniemi is also held in June, and it features musical and dance performances not only from Finnish artists, but also foreign artists from around the world.
The festivals and events in Finland mentioned in this article are just some of the many yearly Finland events. Regardless of when you go to Finland and where you end up, it’s a good idea to check for any Finland festivals or events that might affect your trip. Should a festival in Finland be scheduled for the city or town that you plan to visit, it can significantly impact the availability of accommodations, which is reason enough to check the calendar.