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Weird and wonderful events in Finland for 2011

18th March 2011 Print

2011 provides the perfect opportunity to visit Finland and experience some of the weird and wonderful events that the country has to offer.
Below is our pick of some of the best events and happenings in Finland for 2011:
Vaasa Choir Festival 18-22 May
With 100 concerts taking place over a five day period, music can be heard coming out of churches, concert halls, schools and restaurants.
Black and White Theatre Festival 24-28 May, Imatra
The Black and White Theatre Festival is an alternative theatre event promoting puppet theatre, dance and pantomime.
World Village Festival, 28-29 May, Helsinki
The World Village Festival is a free cultural festival bringing together performance artists from around the world.
Chamber Music Festival, 7-12 June, Riihimäki
The Chamber Music Festival is an internationally celebrated festival with the headlining concerts taking place in the Finnish Glass Museum’s concert hall, renowned for its brilliant acoustics. Tickets range from €23 - €26.
Midnight Sun Film Festival, 15-19 June, Sodankyla
The Midnight Sun Film Festival takes place in the village of Sodankyla.120 kilometers above the Arctic Circle, in the summer months the sun doesn’t set, combine this with some of the best directors in the world and it becomes understandable why this is a film festival to rival all others. The normal ticket is an affordable €7. To view silent films with live music tickets cost between €15 and €25.
Kuopio Dance festival, 16-22 June
Kuopio Dance Festival is internationally renowned for showcasing the latest in contemporary dance. For 2011 the festival will explore all areas of dance from modern takes on American dance to African beats.
Kallotti Jazz and blues festival, 30 June–3 July, Tornio/Haparanda
The Kallotti Jazz and Blues Festival is the largest of its kind in the far north and celebrates the coming together of Swedish and Finnish culture.
Savonlinna Opera Festival 1-27 July
More than 300 artists from 12 different countries will perform at this year’s Savonlinna Opera Festival. Prices for tickets vary but on average are about €150.
Chamber Music Festival, 10-23 July, Kuhmo
Every summer during the month of July the Finnish municipality of Kuhmo is alive with music. The festival features 70 concerts as well as lectures, dance performances, master classes and poetry nights. Weekly season tickets cost between €345 and €460.

Karelian Weaving Weeks 18-22 July / 25-29 July / 1-5 August, Joensuu
The Karelian Weaving Weeks are a chance for people to experiment with weaving. Open to everyone, and with no previous weaving experience needed, experts are on hand to teach beginners the various techniques. The price for the course is €780 including VAT.
Flow Festival 12 -14 Aug, Helsinki
Flow festival boasts an eclectic display of music from indie-rock to soul and jazz. The two day festival showcases a huge range of musicians some of whom have never been heard in Finland before! Prices for tickets vary depending on the performers and range from €6 to €20.
Helsinki City Marathon, 20 Aug
Renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful marathon routes, Helsinki City Marathon is the biggest running event in Finland. 2010 welcomed 6,467 runners from 56 countries. The cost to enter the marathon is between €70 and €80 depending on the application date, and of course to watch from the sideline is free!
Mölkky World Championships, 26-28 Aug, Lahti
Mölkky is a traditional Finnish game involving wooden skittles. Players throw the Mölkky skittles at other numbered skittles and depending on how many skittles are knocked down points are rewarded accordingly. A real taste of traditional Finnish Culture!
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra, International Sibelius Festival 8-11 September, Lahti
Jean Sibelius is Finland’s most renowned composer. The Lahti Symphony Orchestra will perform seven of Sibelius’ symphonies so that people from all over the world can enjoy the music of the internationally celebrated composer. Tickets cost between €14 and €39.
Helsinki Design Week 9-18 September
Ahead of Helsinki’s position as World Design Capital 2012, design aficionados should not miss Helsinki Design Week, the chance for design professionals to display their skills to the public. The event takes place throughout the city and offers visitors exhibitions, seminars, workshops, fashion-shows and shopping experiences.
ANTI Contemporary Art Festival, 27 September - 2 October, Kuopio
The festival is a celebration of contemporary art and covers all artistic forms from sculpture to live art.
Animatricks, 13-16 October, Helsinki
Animatricks is the only animation film festival in Finland. The festival promotes both Finnish and international films with the aim of raising its awareness as a respected art field. A single ticket costs €7 and a five ticket festival pass costs €30.
Hollo & Martta Folklore Festival 30 October - 6 November, Hollola
An annual folklore festival, Hollo & Martta provides a vivid display of European dance culture, and is the perfect opportunity for visitors to experience traditional folkdance and gain a better understanding of Finnish culture.

Alpine Skiing World Cup 11-13 November, Levi (Kittilä)
The Alpine Skiing World Cup is one of the most glamorous events in the ski calendar. It combines downhill, slalom, giant slalom and super G. Prices are €15 per day for adults and €5 per day for children.
Baltic Circle Theatre Festival, 16-20 November, Helsinki
Baltic Circle festival takes place in different venues in the city and is a celebration of European contemporary performing art. It is considered a platform for the development of new trends. Tickets go on sale in November.
Turku Christmas Fair, weekends 27 November – 19 December,
During the four weekends leading up to Christmas, visitors can enjoy the Turku Christmas Fair. Stalls selling handicrafts and delicacies are set up in the Old Great Square. Turku is the 2011 Capital of Culture, and December is the perfect month to explore all the city has to offer whilst getting firmly into the Christmas spirit!

Tuomaan Christmas market 7-22 December, Helsinki
Helsinki is renowned for its Christmas market stalls selling handmade gifts and designer goods are perfect for visitors trying to find that unique Christmas gift.

In addition to these events, Finland leads the way in the weird and the wonderful. Please find below a selection of some of Finland’s more quirky events.
Naked Run of Finland, 17 June, Padasjoki
Wife Carrying World Championships 1-2 July Sonkajärvi
Hay-mowing World Championships, 2 July, Liminka
Air Guitar World Championships 24-27 August, Oulu
Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships, August, Juva
For further information on Finnish Festivals or Finland, visit: