8 weirdest events in Finland

8 Weirdest Events in Finland

Currently, we are on our journey through Finland. In the last post, I introduced you to this weird, beautiful country with some facts about it. I told you about the saunas, the natural beauty and also some weird events taking place in the country.

In this post, we are gonna take a close look at all those weird events that take place in Finland.

1. Wife carrying championship: -

Let's begin with the most amazing one. In this event, men carry their wives(even a girlfriend or female friend is fine) on their shoulders through an obstacle course. This event is held every year in the month of July in Sonkajarvi.

There are many ideas as to how this sport was invented. One idea is that a robber named Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen and his thieves would go to neighboring villages and steal other men's wives to marry themselves by carrying them on their shoulders. It is also believed that he trained his thieves with this activity so as to make them faster and stronger.

The rules of the game are simple. Just carry your wife on your shoulders and run through an obstacle track of length 250 m which have 2 dry obstacles and one water obstacle. The minimum weight of wife must be minimum 49 kgs. There are several ways you can carry your wife: piggyback, fireman's carry or the Estonian style in which the wife hangs upside down with her legs around the husband's shoulders, holding onto his waist. This technique is considered the best.

Wife Carrying Championship

The contestants run the race, 2 pairs at a time and the pair to finish the quickest is declared the winner. Winners if the contest wins a trophy and their wife's weight in beer. There are also special prizes for the most entertaining couple, the best costumes and the strongest carriers.

So would you like to participate next ??

2. Swamp Football: -

If you feel that playing football needs ultimate fitness, think about playing it in a swamp where taking even one step is gonna be a challenge. This game was invented in Finland and was initially used as an exercise for athletes and soldiers, since playing in a soft bog is much more physically challenging.

The first Swamp Football Championship was held in 1988 in Hyrynsalmi and now it is one of the most popular sports events around the world. Nearly 300 teams from various countries participate in the championship every year.



The rules are almost the same as that of regular football, just with some modifications. For example, there is no offside rule in swamp football. It is a great way to spend time enjoying with your friends.

3. World Cell Phone Throwing Championship: -

Have you ever been so frustrated with your cell phone that you just wanted to throw it ??? Yes, at some point in time everyone feels it. If next time you feel it and you are in Finland, do participate in the World Cell Phone Throwing Championship. It was started in the year 2000 in Savolinna, Finland. Now it is held every year at the end of August.

It was started as a part of an initiative to recycle the old, damaged phones and to prevent the toxic wastes from entering the environment. Leading cell phone giants, Nokia along with local recycling centers are partners to the event.

The rules are simple, just throw your cellphone as long as you can while staying inside the throwing area. The weight of the phone should be more than 220 grams. There are various types of events like

  1. Original - The one to throw the farthest is the winner.
  2. Team - Team of 3 members, each gets one chance. Scores of all three are added in the end.
  3. Freestyle - contestants get points for aesthetics and creative choreography.
The record for the longest throw is held by Tom Philipp Reinhardt from Germany with a throw of 136.75 m.

4. Air Guitar Championship: -

So you act and party like a rock star but never bothered learning to play an instrument? Here is a chance to strut your stuff on stage, no musical talent needed.

Since 1996, stage of Oulu, Finland has become home to an epic showdown of rock and roll enthusiasm, where by definition, style triumphs over substance.

Air Guitar is a form of dance and movement in which the performer pretends to play an imaginary rock or heavy metal electric guitar including riffs, solos etc. Playing an air guitar usually consists of exaggerated strumming and picking emotions and is often coupled with loud singing and lip syncing.



The rules are quite strict and share a scoring system oddly similar to figure skating. Competitors must perform two separate routines: the first lasting 60 seconds, consisting of music of their choice, followed by a second, surprise selection of music assigned by festival organizers.

We are now halfway through our list and I hope you are enjoying yourselves. The events are gonna get much weirder. So get ready.

5. Hobby Horse: -  

Everyone likes riding horses but not all can ride in real life. In this game, the participants run and jump across the track to avoid the obstacles while holding a hobby horse. Most of the participants are girls aged between 10 to 18 years.

There are several sub-categories in the competition, which include dressing and show jumping. The championship is held in the city of Seinajoki, attracting hobby horse enthusiast from all over the country. All the hobby horses are home-made by their owners and also given special names. Sometimes they are even exchanged or sold. The popularity of hobby-horsing is increasing in other Nordic countries as well as in the rest of Europe.



This year the contest was held in the vicinity of Helsinki in April. It attracted over 1000 spectators and 200 participants.

6. Mosquito Swatting: - 

If you thought that you have already seen many weird events, then what do you think about this one ??? If you have ever visited Finland in summer you would know the air thick with these thirsty bloodsuckers. Mostly in the northern part of the country.

But the Finns are some the coolest people you will ever find. They turned this necessity into a fun activity. Every year Mosquito Swatting Championship is held in the northern town of Pelkosenniemi.

The rules are extremely simple. All rounds last for 5 minutes, kill as many mosquitoes as you can in this time. The current record is held by Henry Pellonpaa, who in 1995 killed 21 mosquitoes in 5 minutes. Do you think you are quick enough to break this record ??

7. Ice Water Swimming: -

This was actually a hobby in Finland but has now evolved into an international sport. It is quite famous in Helsinki. People say that they feel much more energized and refreshed after doing this. Some Finns even do it on a weekly basis.

It is usually done in a hole where people take a dip in cold water.



I just wonder how people do it. I mean it is already so cold in Finland in which you are going naked and upon that taking a dip in ice cold water. I can't take a cold shower in Mumbai during winter when the average temperature is about 22oC.

What about you? Can you do this?

8. Naked Ant Hill Sitting: -

This event is just insane !!! I mean why, why would someone do that? But actually, this is one of the normal traditions in Finland and people willingly participate in the event.

The tradition was a way for boys to show that they were now men. Sit on an ant hill naked - the longer you sat, the more of a man you were. However, just like many other events, it has also evolved into more of a competition with men and women participating.

The only prize you get from the competition is bragging rights to your friends along with some seriously sore butt cheeks.

I would like to go to the event, just to see it, no way I am gonna participate in this one.

Conclusion: - 

Although all the events that I listed above are quite odd, they are quite interesting. They confirm that Finns just have a great sense of humor and don't back off even to make fun of themselves.

So, if you are in Finland at any time of the year, look these up to see if you can attend or participate - it would make a great story to tell your friends. You are sure to get some laugh if nothing else. And mad respect to the Finns for coming up with these wonderfully amazing events.

Have you ever seen any such event on your travel or celebrated in your country? Let me know about it.




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