The stark contrasts between the four seasons are the main characteristics of the annual natural cycle in Finland. For a great part of the year the land is covered in frost and snow but there is a certain kind of mystique in the air when the seasons eventually change.
Whether it is the ice melting, revealing the green, growing grass in the spring or the leaves changing color in the forests and fells when the autumn arrives, Finns find themselves feeling united with the nature. And during those never-ending, long-awaited, white summer nights who wouldn’t?
The summer isn’t endless in Finland, but there are almost endless summer days. On a fine summer day, Finns have an overwhelming urge to go outside and get out of town.
Summer ends with an explosion of color in the forests. This is the season known as ‘ruska’, when the autumnal reds, browns and yellows are especially beautiful on the fells of Lapland.
The snow season in northern Finland begins in November and lasts at least until May. In the inland regions of southern and central Finland, the first snow falls at the beginning of December and melts during late March and April.
Summer is short in Finland and spring is even shorter. In southern Finland there is often snow on the ground at the beginning of April, with a few crocuses poking their heads through the bare patches.
back to the nature
Slow down and live like a Finn, close to nature. Rent a cottage with a rowboat and bicycle. That way you can meet some Finns, either out on the lake or on an outdoor dance floor.
autumn leaf colour
Autumn leaf colour occurs in all of Finland, but gets more vibrant the further north you go. Leaf peeping trips to Lapland are a standard issue with Finns, as the province is home to the biggest wilderness areas in the country.
Dress the part
You will actually be surprised by the fact that minus 20 doesn’t feel as cold as you would first imagine, simply because the air is really fresh and dry. Once you are armed with the right combination of clothes, you can simply start to enjoy all the fun winter activities Finland has to offer.
In May everything is growing so fast you can almost see the grass growing and the leaves bursting forth. The Finns’ festival of spring is May 1, or Vappu, a time of frenzied celebrations across the country. Be forewarned: This is not a day when Finns are their usual sober and hardworking selves.