Land of the Midnight Tan
Whether it's bright reflections from the meter-deep snow in April or the 24 hours of sunshine you get from May...
When the snow has fallen and wrapped the landscape with its softness and comfort, it’s time to break the ice and have some artistic adventures with this white medium. Some of these eight pieces are easily made, but others require time and a bit of concentration. And the preparation of a few, of course, is better left to professionals.
This classic piece of snow-art decorates the yards of Finnish homes, especially around Christmas time. They’re ridiculously easy to make, and the whole family can participate; First, make a circle of snowballs on the ground and start piling them into a pyramid. Before topping off the lantern, slide a candle inside. The amount of snowballs needed depends on how big you make them.
There is one piece of snow-art that is even easier to make than a snowball lantern: a snow angel. Just lie on your back on a snowy ground and repeatedly spread your arms and legs simultaneously. When you stand up, you’ll find an angel-like shape on the snow. Be careful when jumping into deep snow, it might be tricky to get back up!
In the sparsely populated region of long distances we call Lapland, sometimes you need to cut across to be in the right place at the right time. During winter, arctic innovation is obvious in our roads crossing over rivers, lakes, and the sea. Obviously, the making of these roads is better left to professionals, but why not give them a spin while traveling in Lapland? To start, there are roads in Paavalniemi, Rovaniemi, and another one that connects Räisälä and Suomutunturi to Kemijärvi.
During the winter season, as you might already know, Lapland runs low on daylight. The dark days (and nights) however, create a perfect platform for the most organic cinema you can imagine – on a screen made of ice. Every January, the cultural crème de la crème of Lapland heads to Inari to the Skabmagovat Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival, where cinematic reflections of the endless wintry nights are presented on a big, icy screen.
Skábmagovat Film Festival 25.–28.1.2018, Inari, Finland
Finland is a country of many extremes, but this one is beyond mundane understanding: an ice sauna. This spectacular innovation that combines ice and steam – which usually melt ice, but not in this case – is located on Lake Salonkijärvi, near Ruka, so that the comforting experience can be combined with ice swimming rather effortlessly. The ice sauna can take up to 10 people at a time. Don’t forget to wear your sauna hat!
For more information, check out the Ruka Sauna.
Ice normally has a blue-ish hue, but it doesn’t have to – and making ice shine in all colors of rainbow is easy: you only need watercolors and empty milk cartons. Fill an empty carton with water, add a couple drops of color of your choice, and let it freeze outdoors overnight. The next morning, your tiles are ready!
Show of hands, are you jealous of children because they get all the fun snowy activities? In Lapland, these activities are also for adults, like the big slide at Snowman World. In case you want to try to make your own slide, you just need to make a big pile of snow and a sledge. The rut will follow. More humble but equally slippery is a plastic bag: put it under your butt and start sliding!
For those who wish to admire some incredible handiwork during the holidays, Snow Village, in the village of Lainio nearby Kittilä, offers a perfect set of wonders made of snow and ice. Each year, a total of 20 million kilos of snow and 350 000 kilos of ice are used to build the astonishing 20 000 square meters Snow Village. Spend a cozy night in a snow hotel, enjoy dinners in an ice restaurant, or go and be amazed by the snow and ice sculptures. In the bar, all the drinks come “on ice” of course. This year, Snow Village looks exceptionally amazing as the entire hotel is Game Of Thrones themed.
For more information, check out the Snow Village.