Wednesday, June 23, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 25

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...


Finland is a Nordic country found in Northern Europe.

It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of Bothnia to the west, and the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea across Estonia to the south.

Finland is the eighth largest country in Europe yet it is the European Union’s most sparsely populated country.

In June and July the sun doesn't drop below the horizon in Finland. In the winter, the sun never reaches the horizon.

There are exactly 179,584 islands in and around Finland, a world record.

There are 187,888 lakes in Finland. It is known as the land of a thousand lakes. Yet in actual fact, the number is more than 187 times that!

Finland has more forest than any other European country. Forest covers 74% of the entire country.

Outdoor activities in Finland include skiing, fishing, lake cruises, hiking, golf, husky and reindeer safaris, and elk hunting.

The coldest temperature measured in the country was back in 1999 in Kittilä where the temperature went all the way down to −60.7 °F. Finland can be considered as one of the coldest countries in the world.

The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) are seen regularly in every season but summer in Lapland and other parts of Finland. You can even spend the night in an glass igloo to enjoy watching them.

Kerri’s Snow Hotel is a world-famous luxury destination in Finland. Built every year entirely of snow and ice, it includes a snow castle, snow hotel, snow restaurant, and snow chapel.

The Päijänne Water Tunnel is a 120 km long tunnel in Southern Finland. The tunnel supplies fresh water to millions of Finns living in the region. The tunnel is the world’s second longest tunnel, after the Delaware Aqueduct in the United States.

Finns consume more coffee per capita that any other country in the world. Drinking eight cups of coffee per day would not be considered unusual in Finland.

Finland has the world’s highest annual consumption of milk per capita. That’s approximately one quart per person per day. And surprisingly, 17% of the Finns are lactose intolerant.

The brown bear is Finland's national animal.

Finland Is The Only Home Of The Endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal. This highly threatened seal species is found in Lake Saimaa, Finland. 

There is a philosophy in Finland called “freedom to roam.” This grants any and everyone public access to pretty much anywhere. Finns are able to forage as many mushrooms, berries and flowers as they like from Finnish land; and wild camping is also allowed.

Finnish nationals are perfectly comfortable with silence. When meeting an acquaintance, it's perfectly acceptable to say a quick hello and continue on your way. Finns also naturally keep their distance from other people in public areas.

Birthday parties very important for children in Finland. Many have two: one for friends and another for family. On the flip side, most adults tend only to celebrate the ‘big' birthdays, and even then they are typically informal events.

On Thursdays, many people across the country eat pea soup and pancakes. Historians are unsure of where this strange tradition comes from. Finnish people like to eat rye bread with the soup, and often top the soup with mustard.

Finland has some of the best postnatal care for families. Finnish newborns sleep in cardboard boxes provided by the state (along with clothes, toys and other necessities), mothers can stay home for a year with full benefits and salary and when parents use public transportation with children in a stroller, they can ride for free.

Finnish schools are some of the top in the world. They are unique in that children don’t go to school until they are seven years old and schools aren’t required to give students grades until the 8th grade.

Finnish athletes have won more Summer Olympic medals per capita than any other nation in the world. 

There are approximately 2.2 million saunas in Finland. That’s one sauna for every two and a half people. There are more saunas than there are cars in Finland, even one in a Burger King!

Important business meetings may be followed by a sauna, during which the business conversation is continued on a more informal basis.

While Finland is praised for its progressive “open-prison” system, it also suffers from drawbacks of the system. In Finland, prisoners are allowed to circulate in the surrounding community during the daytime. They can study, work, or shop like other free individuals. Such a system is considered to be cost-effective, and is also believed to lower reoffending rates. However, the system also makes it easy for prisoners to escape. Finland’s prisoners have an escape rate of 1,084 per 10,000 inmates, which is the highest in Europe.

One of the country's prisons has a simple yellow picket fence as its only source of keeping the prisoners inside.

Mobile Phone Throwing is an official sport in Finland. And there are absolutely NO pay phones anywhere in Finland.

Other strange sports include mosquito hunting, swamp football, rubber boot throwing, and the Air Guitar World Championship. Contestants from around the world come to compete in the Wife Carrying World Championship. First prize is your wife’s weight in beer.

It’s expensive to speed in Finland. Your ticket fine is figured on your annual income. One rich driver was once fined more than $200,000 for a single speeding offense. And keep your headlights on. Day or night, winter or summer, it’s the law to do so in Finland.

In Finland they celebrate annual day for failure. It is a day dedicated to failures that people have gone through, and the reason to celebrate is to understand the fact that success and failure go hand in hand.

They also celebrate Restaurant Day. On this day, people in the country are allowed to open  a restaurant of their choice any where in the country. Literally anywhere. In the parks, on the road side or any place of your choice.

Another day celebrated in Finland is ‘National Sleepy Head Day’, where the last person in a family to wake up is thrown into a lake or the sea by the rest of the family.

In Finland when someone earns their Ph.dD, they get a top hat and a sword

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Finland... The Finns regard their country as the home of Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas, and he lives in the northern region of Lapland.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Sugar Nellie Santa with Tree stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White, Recollections Black, and SU Shaded Spruce CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies/Punch: Rubbernecker Rectangle with Pierce Dies and SU Circle Punch

Embellishments: Eyelet Outlet Enamel Dots and SU Ribbon


kiwimeskreations said...

What a lot of fascinating facts Jeanette - sounds as though they really love their saunas!!
Love your Santa Claus card - that's a cute image!
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

Such an adorable Christmas card, Jeanette! I'm hoping to some day experience the northern lights! It will probably be in Alaska, though!

Shelly Schmidt said...

How interesting- I love that they can see the Northern Lights all year long- how cool is that! I would not love to stay in a cold hotel- I like warm! Fascinating facts. Love your fun Santa card- sweet image!