Finland Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by akkipaa
  • Memorial
    by gordonilla
  • Memorial
    by gordonilla

Finland Local Customs

  • No tipping in Finland (but you can leave...

    Helsinki Local Customs

    I don't actually agree with the 'no tipping' custom. Finnish people might not tip very often, but when they do tip, they show that they liked the food, the place and the service - just like anywhere else in the world. You are not obliged to tip a certain amount (e.g. 10-20%), but as a general rule, I leave about 10% tip, if I am happy with the...

  • Musta Makkara

    Tampere Local Customs

    If you ask anyone in Tampere which one is the most typical local food, the answer would be mustamakkara. This sausage (similar to black pudding, but thinner) consists of pork, pig blood, crushed rye and flour. Trust me, it tastes better than it sounds! Many things are said about how you should eat it. Mustamakkara is best eaten at a market stall....

  • Vappu (1st. of May)

    Helsinki Local Customs

    This is to tell you a little bit about a Finnish tradition called Vappu (the 1st of May). We have big Vappu celebrations over here with dancing in the streets, lots of balloons and funny masks etc. And it's always been a students' day in this country even though workers tried to take over at some point and claim it their day. You can still see the...

  • Sauna (The Finnish Sauna Society)

    Helsinki Local Customs

    We deliberately chose a hotel with a swimming pool in Helsinki and were shocked to find the pool only opened around 2 hours per day. This is because the pool is part of the sauna experience. Finnish people love relaxing and cleaning themselves in the sauna. The sauna is expensive to run so will only be warmed up for a couple of hours each day....

  • Washing carpets at the beach

    Helsinki Local Customs

    When you tell people that the Finns still wash their carpets by hand, many do not believe this to be true. However, the tradition continues and in several water front places around the city, the evidence is apparent. Long live the old traditions!

  • 6th December - Independence Day

    Finland is a young country. We belonged to Sweden since 1809 and to Russia till 1917, but when whole Europe was in war and Russia struggled with revolution our Senate of Finland faced the moment and gave the Declaration of Independence which was adopted by the parliament 6th December 1917.2012 we celebrated our 95 year of independence, and when our...

  • General politness in Finland

    The Finns (especially the older generation) sometimes come across as uncaring and cold. They are a reserved nation who only truly open up when they know someone personally.They do not generally do things like hold doors open for each in public. This is not considered rude, just normal everyday behaviour. So if someone lets go off the door and it...

  • No need to tip in Finland

    The Finns do not tip. Full stop. Not in restaurants, taxi's, hairdressers or anywhere else.Coming from a culture were tipping is a part of everyday life it might seem strange but they really do not do it. You can of course tip if you want to but it is not expected.

  • 5th Feb - Flag days in Finland (establ....

    We celebrate Johan Ludvig Runeberg's Day on 5th February.Johan Ludvig Runeberg was Finn Swedish poet and national poet of Finland. As most our great heroes he wrote in Swedish, we got our Finnish poets a little bit later.Many of his poems deal with life in rural Finland. The best known of these is Bonden Paavo, (Farmer Paavo, Saarijärven Paavo in...

  • The sauna.

    Nothing is more finnish than the sauna.You have public saunas all over Finland and you should never have a problem locating one.Be aware that finns have no problem being naked with complete strangers, so when you suddenly find naked people running around all over the place then this is totally natural to the people here and not sexual in any...

  • 25th December - Christmas Day

    Finland partisipated Second Word war in three different parts. We call them Winter, Continuous and Lapland Wars. All deceased war heroes were brought home and they we buried to home county's grave yard. Some they had to leave to battle fields, some couldn't be identified and they were blessed as left to battle fields and almost every grave yard in...

  • The Everymans Right

    A custom in the Northern Countries is the Everymans Right. It gives the chance to everyone to enjoy the landscape and nature by roaming freely on any property, but here people have to pay attention to certain limits. As sometimes this right is missunderstood, the Finnish Ministery of the Environment has published a flyer explaining the everymans...

  • Sima - A drink for Vappu (1st of May)

    In Finnland it is a tradition to prepare Sima for the Vappu day. Vappu is on the first of May. In Finland this day is beside the day of labour, the welcoming day for spring and the main day for students of technical universities. Sima Place in a large bowl, preferably something with a tight lid:1 lemon's outer rind ("zest")1 lb. sugar1 gallon...

  • Lucia day, 13th December

    This is a nice tradition. Every year, a Lucia girl is chosen and she gets a candle crown on her head on a Lucia Day pageant on the 13th of December. This year's winner is the 22-year-old Marianne Ekqvist. If you'd like to go and watch: the crowning of Lucia takes place at the Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko) at 5 o'clock and the parade starts at 6 from the...

  • Wife carrying World Championships

    The wife carrying world championships is an annual competition in Sonkajarvi, usually in July. This year was the thirteenth time it has been organised.Although you might think it is just a silly competition, wife carrying actually has roots in the history as it used to be a common practice to steel women from the neighbouring villages. Also, in the...

  • Sauna - hot, hot, hot...

    The real sauna can only be experienced in Finland, its country of origin. There are more than two million saunas (and only five million inhabitants) in Finland!!!! "Sauna" is the only Finnish word which has spread into most foreign languages including English and German. A Finnish sauna is totally different from the various sweat rooms found all...

  • Tango

    It is not easy to explain why the tango has become so popular in Finland and continues to flourish there, while the rest of the world has more or less abandoned it. The tango is popular throughout Finland. Each year Finland crowns a tango king and queen who rule over the many tango events held throughout the country.

  • The Moomins

    Remember the cheerful and chubby moomintrolls and their friends? The Finnish author and a painter Tove Jansson (1914-2001) was the creator of the Moomins. The first Moomin book was 'The Little Trolls and the Great Flood' (1945) and eight were to follow between 1946 and 1970. Those wonderful children’s books are an international success and have...

  • Poro (Smoked reindeer)

    Is some pubs, but very rare you can order such smoked reindeer snack, those are dry smoked reindeer or also salty dry moos is available if you would like to taste it. It will go very well with the dark smoked beer of course.

  • Drink and play.

    Well, even if you play hockey or football on the computer, I talk about games between your friends, then you will almost have some kind of alcohol. Kippis!

  • Somes you need a break.

    Somes times when you drive in the north of Finland and drink beer and vodka in the car, then you need to have a break. Maybe not the driver, but all the others... LOL

  • Find information about Finland in...

    Here you find all info about Finland what you need in English and also the address to the Finnish Tourist Board.www.visitfinland.comFinnish Tourist BoardP.O.BOX 625FI-00101 helsinki

  • A 100 % free Finland Travel Club

    If you want to know more about Finland you can join in a free Finland Travel Club. All members get free e-mails with news about Finland, new links etc. There are excellent links on the home page of the club. They also answer your all questions about Finland or traveling in Finland for free (e-mail for questions

  • Do you tip in Finland?

    Finland is straight forward country in many ways. In Finland it is not custom to tip, not the waitress, not the bell-boy in hotel, not taxi drivers. The salaries in Finland are not based in tipping, so it is not custom to tip anyone.However, if you want to tip someone for extra-ordinary service, you may do it but you do not have to.

  • Being on time

    In some cultures it is more like a rule than exception to show up like fifteen minutes past the agreed time. Well, Finland is not one of these cultures. It is important that agreed times are kept. Whether you a meeting your Finnish friend, colleague or simply attending a guided tour be on time. Coming late is concidered as "bad behaviour"F ex if...

  • Official languages: Finnish and Swedish

    In Finland around 92% of the population speak Finnish and 5.5% are Swedish speaking. Most Swedish speakers live in the coastal areas of Uusimaa (Nyland in Swedish), Turunmaa (Väståboland) and Pohjanmaa (Österbotten). Municipalities in Finland can be unilingual (in either Finnish or Swedish) or bilingual, but a person can officially have only one...

  • Extra fee for bed linen and for the end...

    Another surprising fact. In all types of accomodation (even in the cottages) they charge you extra fee for the bed linen. Sleeping bags are often not allowed. They also charge extra fee for the end cleaning of the room/cottage and this fee can be even higher than the accomodation price. It is always better to do the end cleaning yourselves then.

  • Closed on Sundays

    I am used from my country that all big shopping malls are opened during weekends and that it is no problem to do the shopping. In Finland most of the shops are closed during the Sunday (I heard that all shops bigger than 400 sq m have to be closed, but don't know whether this is true).Anyway, it is better to do your shopping on some other day.

  • Namings of villages and nature

    Travelling around Finland you will see many names of towns, villages, rivers and people of which parts of the name repeat often. This has the reason that these parts (mostly endings) have a meaning. Have a look and see how deeply Finland is linked to its great resource, the unspoiled nature...Here some example:niemi - penninsula -> e.g....

  • Finnish language resources

    Before coming to Finland I checked the web for online resources helping me to get some idea of the Finish language. As it is almost only spoken in Finland, I put this list under local customs...Online dictionary English->Finnish.Great link list concerning Finnish language.Contains information about different online coursesContains information...

  • Sápmi (Lapland)

    "We, Saami are one people, united in our own culture, language and history, living in areas which, since time immemorial and up to historical times, we alone inhabited and utilized" Saami political program 1986/Saami Council statements The Sami are one of Europe’s oldest ethnic groups. Since prehistoric times, they have lived in the region called ...

  • The land "where Koskenkorva flows"

    In the song ‘The Land of Ice and Snow’, Timo Tolkki, guitarist and songwriter of the Finnish heavy-metal band Stratovarius, describes Finland as the land "where Koskenkorva flows". Another Finnish astist, Irwin Goodman, named one his songs as 'Koskenkorvassa' (literally 'In Koskenkorva'). Nearly every line of this song is interpretable as either a...

  • Salty liquorice

    Salty liquorice (salmiakki in Finnish) is a salty liquorice candy that contains a relatively large amount of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) in addition to the liquorice root extract, sugar, and starch or gum arabic that constitute the traditional liquorice. It is somewhat of an acquired taste and is not generally appreciated outside of Scandinavia,...

  • Karelian pies or pasties

    Karelian pies or Karelian pasties are traditional savoury pasties from the region of Karelia. Today they are eaten throughout Finland. They are served warm with butter that has been mixed in with crushed boiled egg (so called 'eggbutter', in Finnish 'munavoi'), which is then spread over the pasties before eating.The oldest traditional pasties...

  • Mämmi (traditional Easter dessert)

    Mämmi was mentioned the first time during the 17th century, in a dissertation (in Latin). As the result of domestic product development, it has graced the Finnish dinner table for at least 300 years. Originally, the dessert was consumed during the whole lent period. It was a convenient food for Good Friday, when firing up the stove was against...

  • Nordic walking

    You may come across people walking on pavement with something that look like ski poles anytime during the year in Finland. This is known as an activity called Nordic walking (In Finnish ‘Sauvakävely’), ski walking or pole walking. It is a sport consisting in walking with modified ski poles. It is extremely popular in Finland, where it first started...

  • Runeberg's Day (5 February)

    On 5 February, Finland celebrates the birthday of its national poet Johan Ludwig Runeberg (1804-1877). He was a Finland-Swedish poet. He studied at Academy of Åbo, where he befriended Johan Vilhelm Snellman and Zacharias Topelius. His studies concentrated on Latin and Greek. From 1837 onwards he lived in Porvoo, where he served as professor of...

  • Religion

    Most Finns observe the Christian faith and belong to either the Evangelical Lutheran (83%) or the Orthodox Church (1%). These two Churches occupy significant roles in Finnish history and culture. That is why they enjoy a special legal status. However, everyone is entitled to practise their own religion and to express their beliefs. People also have...

  • Finnish design

    Finnish design has won a considerable international attention. Behind a successful product such as Nokia mobile phones lies an innovative design. Finnish designed glass, ceramics, furniture and textiles are world famous products. Who has not heard of Marimekko, Ittala glassware or the architectural masterworks of Alvar Aalto.

  • Myths and traditions associated with...

    Now here is a word that originates from Finnish and is used all over the world! There aren’t very many, so we are extremely proud of these. Saunas were historically the most sacred places after the church, and all houses that could afford to build a sauna had one. Nowadays about third of Finns have one at home. According to an old tradition,...

  • Finnish language

    Although Finland is officially a bilingual country, the two official languages being Finnish and Swedish, around 90% of the residents are native Finnish speakers. There is also a small Swedish, Russian and Sami speaking minorities. Virtually everyone speaks English (apart from some older generations), and many have basic understanding of some other...

  • Finnish people

    Of course, I can't tell about all finnish people as I've met only around 30 of them or so in my life, but from my personal experience on finnish people I could say that they are nice, hospitable and speak English quite good.

  • Finnish food -delicacies and...

    Finnish cuisine may not be as rich or popular than for example the Italian one but we also have some delicacies we Finns miss when we are abroad :)When in Finland, try these out:*Carelian pies - karjalanpiirakka in Finnish (rice porridge on a rye or wheat crust), best if served with egg-butter*Rye bread - ruisleipä in Finnish (dark bread, really...

  • Local customs

    We Finns are a shy people and like to listen quietly what other people have to say before we respond. So the Anglo-Saxon style of interrupting or the Mediterranean, simultaneous, style of talking is considered incomprihensible here. We seldom use the words "I'm sorry" or "Thank you", though we don't mean any bad. So it might seem rude but deep down...

  • Vappu

    1st may is Student day (Vappu) in Finland. There's big festivals in streets with balloons, serpentines, masks. People in all ages use student's cap. Students wear special costumes.This is day when whole Finland is drunk! But be careful all shopes are closed in this day.


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