Finland

Viking Line to Turku.JPG

Finland is not just the land of lakes, forests and reindeer.  Each year, the country holds some of the worlds strangest championships.  Take a look below at some of the best 🙂

Wife Carrying

Have you ever heard about the  World Championships in Wife Carrying….  No, I’m not joking.  Every year in July, in the tiny village of Sonkajärvi, Eastern Finland, this bizarre event takes place.  It dates back to the 1800’s, a time when it was still common to steal women from other villages.  Today, the ‘wife’ to be carried doesn’t actually need to be your own.  You can carry anybody’s wife over a 235 metres long obstacle course.  And there are serious obstacles.  You’ll be carrying the good lady through water, over hills and be expected to jump hurdles of various sizes.    And the prize, you might wonder?  The wife’s weight in beer….. 🙂  The current record is held by Estonia, an unbelievable 1 minute and 7 seconds. Beat that.

Mobile Phone Throwing

Well, it was to be expected – in the land of Nokia – that there would be a competition involving mobile phones.  The Championships are held every August in Savonlinna.  All phones are provided – to make the competition fair – and currently the world record is held by a Finn, who threw the phone 89 metres exactly.

Swamp Soccer

Turku Castle.JPGFinland is also home to the annual World Championships of Swamp Soccer.  Started in 1998 by some people in Lapland who thought it would be fun to play football in a swamp – this has very quickly become really popular.  At the recent championships there were 200 teams from all over the world who slipped and slided for their opportunity to lift the Swamp Soccer Trophy.

Did you know that way up in the north, where the Finnish border meets Norway, there is a golf course where you can play 9 holes in Finland and 9 holes in Norway – and imagine that under the midnight sun!

Air Guitar

Have you ever pretended to be playing the guitar, making all the right moves, fingers sliding up and down the guitar neck?  Well, if you have, you might like to know about the World Championships Air Guitar playing, which has been held in Oulu every year since 1995.  Participants from all over the world enter the competition.  Their first performance is to a song of their own choice.  The jury then select the ten best performers, and in the next round these have to perform to a song chosen by the jury.  It’s all taken VERY seriously, and the current World Champion is from Japan.

This is a sample text from the Fun Facts taken from ‘My Travel Kit for Finland’.  If you would like more information, please contact me.