Aamu, your tour guide
Come with me and see the fun festivals of Finland.
June – Mosquito Swatting Championships – The Swedish town of Övertorneå holds its own event when the town was denied permission to use chemicals to kill the little, flying biters. So the good Swedes made a festival about killing the pests. Contestants here get 15 minutes to kill mosquitos. The record for this town is 135. Finland has its own such festival, which is held sometime during the mosquito season.
Mid June – Swamp Soccer World Cup – Love soccer? Lover a shorter game? Love mud? Head on over to Hyrynsalmi, Finland. 200-to-300 teams from all over the world compete. There are five different ways to compete: men’s, women’s, mixed, men’s hobby, and Masters of Swamp. Six players are on each side. Each half lasts for 12 minutes. There are no offside penalties. This is fantastic for all those who never understood the rule in the first place.
Summer – Ant Nest Sitting Festivals – Finland hosts Ant Nest Sitting Competitions. Contestants sit on an ant hill for as long as they can stand the ant bites. This competition is held all over the country during the summer months. It truly helps to have a high threshold for pain or an ass harder than bronze.
Summer – Wife Carrying Championships – It’s in Sonkajaarvi, Finland Sonkajaarvi, Finland Couples race around a track well stocked with obstacles such as logs and a deep pool. At one time, the woman in the event had to be the man’s wife, but neighboring women are allowed. The designated wife must weigh 49 kilograms or 108 pounds. You might think a good wife for this race would be as tiny as possible. But no, the winners earn the wife’s weight in beer.
July – Cattle Calling Championship – Can’t speak Finnish, but still love to make yourself heard? Alapitka, Finland, puts on the renowned Cattle Calling Championship. Techniques of the champions are closely guarded secrets. However, successful participants tend to know the names of the cows. Courtesy while chatting with your cow goes a long way to winning the championship.
Early July – Finnish Dialect Speaking Championship – You say you want to attend a contest that is conceptually easy to win? One that’s not physically demanding? Then the Finnish Dialect Speaking Championship in Kuopio is the event for you. Keep in mind, past winners tend to possess a strong command of this Nordic language.
August – Finish Sauna World Championship – Held in Heinola, Finland. Simply stay the longest inside Finnish sauna in a temperature of 110 degrees centigrade, 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Maybe you have a competitive nature, while having the inactive disposition of a rock. Then this competition is for you. Compete! Maybe you like the idea of thousands of spectators and TV audiences watching your nearly naked, sweaty body, covered with only a towel. Compete! It’s held in August, when it’s outside anyway.
Mid August – Cell Phone Tossing – Be sure to make your way to Savonlinna, Finland during mid August for its prestigious Cell Phone Throwing Championship. The traditional part has participants throwing the cell phones over their shoulders. The longest toss wins. Cranky folks, such as myself, who have never quite adjusted to the new technology and hurl one phone after another, are usually the tournament favorites. However, in 2012. it was a well-adjusted man named Eric Karjalainon won. He said he prepared for this event mostly by drinking.
Late August – Air Guitar World Final – Air guitar enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Air Guitar season. Prestigious events are held in Germany along with Japan’s own elimination tournament. However, the crème de la crème of air guitardom is the World Final, held in Oulu, Finland. The Final’s aim is to promote world peace. With this in mind, organizers have banned holding a gun while performing your air-guitar number. The winner goes home with the unique Flying Finn guitar, handmade by the great Mr. Matti Nevalainen. Dedicated air-guitar fans really must obtain advanced tickets to the VIP Area. These tickets give you the best views of the stage and a truly tasty buffet well stocked with local delicacies.
Note: festival dates are prone to change. Check before you book. You don’t want to lug your air guitar all the way to Finland only to discover the Air Guitar World Final took place a week ago.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
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