Among the different countries in Europe, Finland may be the least popular, but there is a lot about this country which is unique and make the trip worth it. Helsinki, the gateway to this country will welcome you with the best museum and art galleries to entertain the enthusiasts. This includes the Finnish Museum and the National Museum of Art. A variety of food is also available to fill your gastronomical pleasure. On the other part is the countryside where you could experience nature as you explore the vast forest and clear lake to provide you with the calmness after the active lifestyle in the city.
Interesting and Important Facts About Finland
- Finland is one of the world’s most northern and geographically remote countries and is subject to a severe climate. Nearly two-thirds of Finland is blanketed by thick woodlands, making it the most densely forested country in Europe
- Finland’s underlying structure is a huge worn-down shield composed of ancient rock, mainly granite, dating from Precambrian time (from about 4 billion to 540 million years ago). The land is low-lying in the southern part of the country and higher in the centre and the northeast, while the few mountainous regions are in the extreme northwest, adjacent to Finland’s borders with Sweden and Norway.
- The forestry, technology and metal industries are Finland’s most important revenue sources. Finland is the world’s biggest producer of mobile phones.
- Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s. Thereafter, it rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive Nordic-style welfare state, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
- The Lemmenjoki National Park is the largest in Finland. It is also one of Europe’s most extensive roadless and uninhabited areas of forest wilderness. It adjoins the Övre Anarjokka National Park on the other side of the Norwegian border. Besides its nature conservation function, the park is of major importance for hiking and reindeer herding.
- The Arctic Centre, University of Lapland is Finland’s national institute for Arctic expertise. It is based at the University of Lapland, the northernmost university in Finland and the EU, and is located in the Arktikum building by the Ounasjoki river in Rovaniemi near the Arctic Circle.The Centre conducts multidisciplinary and participatory research on impacts of the development and climate change in the Arctic. Besides research and science communications, it maintains a science exhibition, a library and provides education.
- In the far north of Lapland on the Finland and Norway border is the highest point in the country, the mountain Halti at 1,324 metres (4,344 ft).
- Finland has some interesting and unique wildlife including the gray wolf, wolverine, elk, its national animal the brown bear and national bird the whooper swan.
- Finland has thousands of lakes (about 188,000) and islands (about 179,500) leading to the nickname for the country “Land of the Thousand Lakes”.
- The oldest city in Finland, Turku is a fascinating mixture of a medieval town and a vibrant modern city. The Turku archipelago is among the world’s largest and you can enjoy it by foot, car, bike or various cruises.
- The town of Rauma in Western Finland is known for its colorful regional dialect and long tradition in bobbin lace making. The well-preserved “Old Rauma” is the largest unified wooden town in the Nordic countries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts About Finland
- The amount you get fined for speeding on the roads in Finland depends on the amount you earn. A man with an annual income of 7€ million was recently charged 116,000€.
- There are no payphones in Finland.
- In Finland, there are days when the sun never sets. Conversely and somewhat terrifyingly, there are day when the sun never comes up. 30 Days of Night, anyone?
- Finland is the only country in the world that broadcasts news in Latin. The jury is still out on why.
- There is a heavy metal band for children in Finland. No lies – the band’s name is Hevisaurus.
- There are 1.8 million saunas in Finland.
- Finland created a National Failure Day in 2010, (to learn from mistakes and not repeat them).
- Rovio Entertainment, creators of the phone app Angry Birds are from Finland.
- Finland holds world championships for such things as wife carrying, mobile phone throwing and mosquito catching.
- They drink more coffee per person than anyone else in the world, (12 kg per year).
- You can hire igloos to stay in if you don’t fancy the Helsinki hotels, when the temperature is -30ºc outside, they stay at a balmy -3ºc.
- Finland has been ranked number 1 in the world for education.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Finland
- The land area that now makes up Finland was probably settled immediately after the last ice age, which ended c. 9000 BCE. Most of the region was a part of the Kingdom of Sweden from the 13th century to 1809, when the vast majority of the Finnish-speaking areas of Sweden were ceded to the Russian Empire (excluding the Finnish-speaking areas of the modern-day Northern Sweden), making this area the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
- Finland was one of the last region of Europe to be Christianised, in the 12th century.
- The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland in 1939–1940. The influence of the Winter War in popular culture has been deep and wide, not only in Finnish culture, but also worldwide. The Finnish struggle against the Soviet Union has been seen as a classic David versus Goliath situation. The Winter War began three months after World War II started, and the war had full media attention as other European fronts had a calm period.
- Finnish athletes have won more Summer Olympic medals per capita than any other nation. As of 2012, Finland had won in total 302 Summer Olympic medals (incluidng 101 gold medals) for a population of only 5.4 million. That is an average of 55.9 medals (18.7 gold medals) per million people. Finland is only second to Norway for the number of Winter Olympic medals per capita (28.8 medals/million).
- Drivers from Finland have won more World Rally championships (14 titles) than any other country, and more Formula One championships compared to their country’s population (4 titles for 5 million inhabitants – the next best being Austria with 4 titles for a population of 8 million).
- The Finnish society encourages equality and liberalism with a popular commitment to the ideals of the welfare state; discouraging disparity of wealth and division into social classes. Everyman’s right (Ministry of Environment, 1999) is a philosophy carried over from ancient times.
- The Finnish family life is usually understood to be centered on the nuclear family, rather than the extended family. There are usually one or two children in a family. Traditionally, men were the wage-earners and women remained in the home and cared for children. However, since the Second World War, gender roles have changed. Today, both men and women are dual wage-earners.
- The Finnish Christmas, Joulu, follows traditions of Christmas trees and the Advent calendars. Holidays start on the 23rd of December. Gift giving occurs on Christmas Eve with a visit from Joulupukki (Father Christmas, Santa Claus). Traditional meals are typically only eaten on Christmas followed by sauna. Christmas Day is reserved for a “quiet day” and the holidays end after the 26th, St. Stephen’s Day (tapaninpäivä).
- Traditional Finnish cuisine is a combination of European, Fennoscandian and Western Russian elements; table manners are European. The food is generally simple, fresh and healthy. Meat, berries, milk and ground vegetables are typical ingredients whereas spices are not common due to their historical unavailability.
- Various sporting events are popular in Finland. Pesäpallo, resembling baseball, is the national sport of Finland, although the most popular sports in terms of spectators are ice hockey, athletics, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Formula One.
- In the summer light, brighter colours in clothes like shorts and t-shirts are popular and in the winter warmer clothes and darker colors are typically worn. Finland has many different kinds of national costumes (specific to certain areas), but these are worn usually for performances and special occasions only.