A traditional dessert at Easter is mämmi, which is made of rye flower, rye malt and water and seasoned. Before baked in the oven it has to go through natural sweeting progress and after baking it has to be stored in a cold place for 3-4 days before it is ready to eat. Traditionally it is eaten with cream and sugar, but I always have it with milk as I don't like cream. It may look revolting but I can assure you that it is actually quite delicious.
Not a local custom only in Lahti but all of Finland, but I doubt that I'll ever create Finland page so I add this here. On Shrove Tuesday after hours of tobogganing with children we come home hungry. We have pea soup and dessert is sweet bun filled with whipped cream and jam or paste made of almonds. When I was a little girl we used to have it with a mug of warm milk (yuk!) but now I have it with coffee. I haven't eaten these buns, laskiaispulla in Finnish, for years and I think it will be years until I try them again.
Finnish design at its best - Aalto trays and Aalto vases designed by Alvar Aalto, who was one of the top Finnish designers. I've got white, clear and blue ones all of which I've got as presents, I use them to burn candles, serve sweets and fruit or just to decorate. Some of my foreign friends say that they are too simple, I don't agree, you can judge yourself! It's a classic...
It is a custom here in my country to take candles to the graveyard on Christmas Eve. Seeing all those candles in snow in the graveyard is a beautiful sight. There is a place where you can leave a candle for your loved ones who are buried in another city, town or village. I took my candles in the Western Graveyard here in Lahti though my parents are buried in Nokia. I would have wanted to take more photos there but my daughter was freezing and wanted to get back home as soon as possible. It was snowing then and pure white snow made everything look like a fairytale.
Some people say that swimming in the hole in ice is a refreshing experience but they have not managed to convince me yet. Near where I work is one place where you can swim all through the year and believe me that it is popular, though there was nobody when I took this photo!
In November 2005 Lahti will turn 100 years old, but there will be lots of celebrations all through the year. On the 14th January Lahti will have its own stamps...one showing the radio masts, which used to be the symbol of Lahti and the other of the concert all in Sibelius Hall.
Finns are crazy about winter sports, if you visit here during winter try to do some ski or ice skating. Even if you are not good at the start, it will be a great fun and after a day outside you will get warm in the evening at home with hot sauna and some Koskenkorva (Finnish snaps)
Without a doubt try to experience the sauna in its native home!! Don't go for the public saunas, you have to try it in someones home!!! And of course you will need a few beers after the sauna to replace those lost fluids!
Lahti is not pronounced Laaaaati (as many German ski jumping commentators say which drives me up the wall). It is prounounced Lach-Ti. Easy for Germans, anyway!