Writing an article titled “Photos to Help you Understand ___”, is really hard to do for some countries. But when it comes to completely unique, interesting and weird countries, Finland is at the top of the list. So here are a bunch of facts, funny info, and photos to help you understand the great country of Finland.

Understand Finland

– Saunas. When i think of Finland, I automatically think of Saunas. The traditional smoke sauna, pictured above, is not only a Finnish invention, there are also 3 million saunas in the country, for only a population of 5,5 million people.

Finns take their sauna-ing so serious that, up until 2010, they use to host the extreme sauna championships. This contest was where they would see who could stay the longest in a sauna with extreme heat. They stopped the competition in August 2010 when the two finalist, One Russian and one Finnish, passed out after only 6 minutes. The Russian died on the scene and the Finnish man was in a coma for three months with third degree burns all over his body.

Understand Finland

– Wife-Carrying World Championships. Finland is the originator of  this competition where contestants race, carrying their wives, through obstacle courses. The rules state that the woman doesn’t have to actually be the legal wife, but that she must weigh at least 49kg.

Each summer, this weird event is held in Sonkajärvi, Finland, and becomes more and more popular. The wife-carrying contest has been at a world championship level for over 13 years now, gaining popularity in The US, Hong Kong and more.

– The World Cell Phone Throwing Championships take place each August in Savonlinna, Finland. Hows that for a weird competition?! There are so many other weird competitions and championships in Finland, that I will just list a few here, as they are pretty self explanatory.

  • The Air Guitar World Championship in Oulu, Finland.
  • Mosquito Swatting Championships
  • Ant-Nest Sitting Competition
  • Ice Swimming Events
  • World Cup in Snowshoe Football
  • Swamp Soccer World Championships Hyrynsalmi in northern Finland
  • Finnish Cattle Calling Championships Alapitka, Finland
  • Milking Stool Throwing Contests



-The Kutemajarvi Sex & Matchmaking Festival. Finns are known as having no  sexuality taboos, and this is just one example of that.

-Santa Claus (known in Finland as Joulupukki or “Yule Goat”) officially resides in a house built right on top of the Arctic circle, near the town of Rovaniemi. The Santa Claus Post Office receives some 700,000 letters every year from children from 198 countries. So tell your kids the address is: Santa Claus Village, FIN-96930 Arctic Circle.


-Since 2004, Finland has regularly been ranked as 2nd or 3rd best country for the State of the World’s Mothers by Save the Children. So if you’re going to have a kid, head that way!

-The Finns are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers, consuming 12 kg of the black substance annually, twice more than the Italians, three times more than the Americans, and four times more than the Brits.


-The 2000 to 2012 president of Finland, Tarja Halonen, is a woman, as were 12 of the 20 government ministers.

-According to the World Audit study, Finland is the least corrupt and most democratic country in the world as of 2012.

– Finland offers the world’s most valuable passport for visa-free travel. While in a three-way tie with Sweden and the United Kingdom, Finland’s passport offers more commonly used visa-free travel options, including India. Finnish passport holders even enjoy visa-free access to Vietnam, which is almost unheard of.


-In Finland, traffic fines are based on two factors: the severity of the offense and the driver’s income. The most expensive speeding ticket ever given is believed to be the one given  in Helsinki in 2003 for 170,000 Euros, for driving 80 km/hr in a 40 km/hr zone.

-There are no public payphones in Finland! There are over 5 million mobile phones in Finland for a population of 5.4 million. I guess it makes sense as Finland is home to Nokia.


Justin Carmack

Justin Carmack

Wanderer and diver at Art of SCUBA Diving
I've been on the road for 5.5 years now, visiting 80 countries, 6 continents and endless adventures. Divemaster and SCUBA addict. Travel junkie. World roamer.
Justin Carmack

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