Welcome to Finland
Finland is also called "the land of 1000 lakes"and nowhere else you find so many lakes in one country.
In fact, there are 187.880 lakes in Finland. Each region in Finland has its distinct character and invite to all kind of activities and adventures. From the wilds of Lapland in the north to the magical Lakeland in the east and archipelagos in the South West area.
What characterises Finland and its unprecedented nature?
The Republic of Finland is a flat country occupied mostly by forests (70% of the land area) and lakes (10%). It is an invitation to get out and active year-round or to find the Nordic peace in a lakeside cottage.
There are 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m²) and 179,584 islands within the territory of Finland. Both are world records, and wolves and brown bears can be found in this country with so much green nature.
You can also find the home of Santa Claus in Finland - it is in the town Rovaniemi.
Society and culture in Finland
Finland (Suomi in Finnish) has only been an independent country since 1918. Before it belonged to Russia or Sweden. Finland was remaining largely agrarian country until the 1950s. It rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive Nordic-style welfare state as in the other Nordic countries.
Finland is the EU's fifth largest country, and one-fourth of Finland's inhabitants live in capital Helsinki in the south of Finland.
Finland is so far the only Nordic country to have joined the Eurozone. Electronics are today the country's largest industry, and Nokia is the most famous company. Angry Birds, the popular mobile phone game, was also developed in Finland.
Lapland - a part of Finland
Lapland is placed in the 3 Nordic countries, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is easy to travel across the borders and covered an area from the Arctic Circle in the south to the Arctic Ocean in the north and Finland; it occupies 30% of the land area.
The inhabitants of Lapland, the Sami, are a minority with barely 6% of the population. When you travel across Lapland, you can be lucky to see Sami in their brightly coloured traditional dress, especially if you visit a festival.
How to build a sauna
This old Finnish proverb shows how serious Finns take this national institution. Sauna is a huge deal and a favourite topic for the Finns
Almost everyone in Finland has access to a sauna, most commonly at home with family. Finland has as many as two-three million saunas shared among the country’s 5.4 million inhabitants
Saunas have also existed in other cultures, but it is in Finland that they have become entwined in the national culture.
Traditional saunas are heated by wood, burned either in a stove with a chimney or by a stove with no chimney. The latter – a smoke-sauna – is the original sauna and believed by most Finns to be the best.
“Saunas used to be at the centre of every aspect of people’s lives in Finland,” “For earlier generations, they were the only place to wash.
Earlier they were also used to smoke fish and meat, wash clothes, and dry linen.” Life used to begin and end with a sauna. Today people see saunas as a place to relax, both physically and mentally
In the summertime, the Finns use a “vihta” – a bunch of birch branches which they dip in water and with which they gently flagellate themselves, and it stimulates the circulation and gives fresh aroma.
If you want to take the initiative yourself, almost all hotels have good saunas, though mostly heated by electricity.