The land of Santa Claus, clean air and alpine sports, Finland really is a Nordic utopia. From the quirky atmosphere in Helsinki to the winter wonderland up north in Lapland, there are lots to be explored. Whether you’re headed to “the land of a thousand lakes” soon or just looking for some Scandinavian wanderlust, this list has you covered. Here are seven fascinating facts about Finland.
7 Fascinating Facts About Finland
1. Finland is the Happiest Country in the World
According to the most recent World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country on Earth. What makes a happy country? Well, the report is based on six factors: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and lack of corruption. Finland is aces in all of those categories and in fact, has been for three years straight.
2. Finland Has a Quite a Few Unique Sports
When it comes to sports, Finland gets in on the fun with the usual; football, hockey, skiing etc. However, they also have their own line of sports than can only be described as unique. For example, Finland hosts mosquito hunting competitions, mobile phone throwing, swamp football and air guitar sports. There’s even a wife-carrying championship.
3. There are More Lakes Than You Think
Finland is coined “the land of a thousand lakes” for a reason. The Nordic nation is a water lover’s dream with 187,888 lakes within its territory. Thanks to this, Finland is the perfect spot for people who love outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking and camping.
4. Finns Love Their Coffee
Maybe it’s the pitch-black dark winters; maybe it’s the extreme cold; either way, Finns love their coffee. In fact, the average Finn drinks 12 kilos of coffee each year. It’s said that the trend more than likely originated due to the nations brutal winters which can bring temperatures as low as -40.
5. There are More Saunas Than Cars
Speaking of brutal winters, there is nothing more comforting than a long and soothing sauna session after being out in the frigid cold all day; that’s why you’ll find saunas peppered all over the country. In fact, there are even more saunas than cars. The Finnish sauna tradition is so strong in fact, that there’s even a sauna inside Helsinki’s Burger King.
6. Finnish is Unique From the Other Scandinavian Languages
Danish, Swedish and Norwegian are all quite similar and belong to the Germanic family. While they aren’t mutually intelligible, they are incredibly similar and share a lot of the same traits. Finnish however, is not at all related to the Germanic languages, in fact, it’s part of the Uralic family of languages making it more similar to Estonian and Hungarian.
7. Freedom to Roam is Taken Seriously
In Finland, similar to its Scandinavian neighbours, there is a philosophy called “freedom to roam.” This grants any and everyone public access to pretty much anywhere. Finns are able to forage as many mushrooms, berries and flowers as they like from Finnish land; and wild camping is also allowed.