Culture and traditions

Customs and traditions of Finland

In Finland, the extreme climate has influenced the culture and customs of its inhabitants. In this article, we talk about the habits of Finns, as well as the main cultural traditions and festivities they possess.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Christmas is one of the most important times for Finns. These days, it is typical to meet with family and friends. To count the days until it arrives, children usually have their own Advent Calendar, with which they eat a small piece of chocolate or candy each day.

Although Santa Claus arrives on Christmas Eve, in Finland you can visit all year, because he lives in this country, specifically in Rovaniemi, Lapland. Here he is known by the name of Joulupukki.

Although it may seem a rare tradition for people from other countries, in Finland it is common for people to go on Christmas Eve to the cemetery to put candles in the place where their loved ones rest.

At Christmas meal, rice with fish and fish is usually served, among other foods. Likewise, the glögi or mulled wine, a drink that is quite spicy.

As for the End of the Year, it is traditional to watch on television a old short called humor Dinner for one. In it, an older lady and her butler are seen having dinner. It comes to broadcast even on several different channels at the same time. You can see the short in this video (it is in English):

Another strange custom tonight is to melt a horseshoe and pour the molten material into a glass of water. The way the iron takes makes you have an idea of ​​what the new year will be like. When they spend twelve at night, fireworks castles are common.


In relation to Holy Week and Easter, Palm Sunday, called in Finland Palmusunnuntai, children tend to dress as a witch and go house to house wishing health to the neighbors. These usually give them some kind of candy or money.

June 24 is celebrated the night of San Juan or Juhannus. This day, people usually leave the city to areas of coast or countryside, where they turn on bonfires and parties are organized.

As summer is quite short in this country, it is used to organize numerous fairs and music festivals. The most famous is the Helsinki Festival, which is celebrated at the end of August.

Also, another important day for Finns is December 6: Independence Day. On this date, houses and streets are usually illuminated and parades are organized. On this day people who died fighting for independence from the country are remembered.


An elaboration originally from Finland, specifically from the area of ​​Karelia, are the Karjalanpiirakka, some cakes whose crust is rye flour. These are usually stuffed with rice and a mixture of butter and cooked egg is placed on top.

Another typical food of the country is the Grillimakkara: large sausages that are roasted and accompanied with mustard. Also, a sweet food are the Korvapuusti, cinnamon buns that are eaten with coffee.

The eating habits of Finns are similar to those of the rest of the inhabitants of central and northern Europe. Breakfast is quite strong and dinner is taken around six in the afternoon.

Social customs

The character of the Finns is special, since they are usually very talkative, sincere people who say things directly. However, they are quite hospital.

When greeting, it is common to shake hands looking into each other's eyes and kisses and hugs are not frequent. When they show up, they do so by indicating their first and last name.

In Finland there is a great respect for the environment, so that its inhabitants take care of it and care to pollute as little as possible.

Typical dress

The traditional clothing of Finland varies depending on the region in which we find ourselves. Usually, the women's suit consists of a long skirt, a white apron, a white long-sleeved blouse and a vest or bodice.

As for men, they usually wear black pants, white shirt and colorful vest. The footwear of both sexes is usually a pair of black shoes.


The sauna is a Finnish invention that today is remarkably important for the inhabitants of the country. Finns usually go to the sauna every week or even daily.

For them, it is a time to relax and purify themselves, to be able to think clearly and make decisions. They go both alone and with more people, although men and women generally enter different saunas. In Finland it is common to find saunas in homes, work, hotels and even in nature.


Among the most popular sports in Finland, we find ice hockey, which has its own national competition. Soccer is also popular and the first division is known as Veikkausliiga.

A sport that was invented here and that is currently in fashion in other countries is the Nordic walk. This consists of walking supported by two canes.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Cultural diversity"so you can continue reading:

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