Culture of Finland


Without a doubt, the most important part of Finnish culture is the sauna, and anyone, who really wants to taste the real life of this country, should get really sweat at least once in a week. The best way to do so is in a real sauna with a bake, which can be heated up with wood and birch tree branches for the body. There is also a lake for cooling off right next to the sauna. Almost every person living in Finland has such a sauna right next to a small, traditional woodland house called the mokki. Apart from that, most of the houses in the city, and even some apartments in blocks of flats have a smaller, electric sauna, which is used by the residents at least once in a week – on Saturday. A cold beer and traditional makkara can make a sauna picture just about complete. The sauna can not only clean you physically, but mentally as well, that’s why this is a crucial Christmas Eve tradition.

Another cultural trivia fact that we must mention is… tango. Yes, you’ve read it – TANGO.
Gently speaking, Finnish people are nuts over this traditional dance, and if you want to see them dancing for yourself, you’ll have to go to Seinajoki, where the festival of tango (Tangomarkkinat) is held each year. The program of the festival includes choosing the king and the queen of tango. This dance is such an important part of the culture of Finland, that you could say it’s specific type of tango – the Finnish tango. This type of music is especially the most entertaining for older people of Finland.

But tango is just one side of the musical medal. Finnish people are also known for being fond of heavy music, such as rock and metal. If you like that kind of music too, you should definitely come here in the summer, because this is the time when most of the country’s festivals actually take place. If you come to Helsinki during the Tuska Open Air festival, long, black jackets, heavy boots, metal tones and the strong, black make-up will probably be the most common sight to see on the streets. Another interesting festival is the Provinssirock in Seinajoki (fun fact – it takes place in the exact same city as the Tango Festival), where each year you can see performances from the world’s biggest rock stars. One of the most recent editions included guests like Foo Fighters.

The people of Finland have a special ability of bringing smaller towns to life, which become famous for hosting huge cultural events. In Kuhmo, a town with less than 10000 people living there, the festival of private music, called the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival takes place.
During this festival the number of people in the town doubles.

In July, new life also comes to Savonlinna for the entire month, not only thanks to its attractive location straightly in the middle of the huge lake Saimaa, but also thanks to the fans of opera music, which come here to the Savonlinna Opera Festival and make the cafes and restaurants crowded after the show.

In Sodankyla – a town with 5000 villagers, located in Lapland, there is an international movie festival called the Midnight Sun Festival taking place in June. The guests include worldwide famous movie directors. Some of the former guests of the festival were Krzysztof Kieslowski, Jerzy Kawalerowicz and Agnieszka Holland. For five days and five bright nights the guests can enjoy a worldwide and quite chamber encounter with cinema and other movie fans.

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