Outdoor Games

Come and have some fun at Heikin Huvipuisto (Heikki’s Fun Park)

Finns love to compete. If there isn’t a competition going on they invent a new one. This year there will be kicksled races for children. While the specifics will be kept under wraps until race time, participants can rest assured that the event will be fast and fun!

Wife Carrying (Eukonkanto) Competition

Perhaps no Finnish competition has received more media attention than Eukonkanto —The Wife-Carrying contest — which started in Sonkajärvi in 1992. Finns around the world have picked up on this quirky event as an opportunity to mix Finnish endurance — called “sisu” — with good, old-fashioned fun. These days, where Finns gather there’s apt to be a Wife-Carrying contest. The competition has new, interesting dimensions in the middle of January!

History: The idea of the Wife Carrying Competition, in spite of its humorous aspects, has deep roots in local Sonkajärvi history, at least according to local organizers. In the late 1800’s there lived a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen, who only accepted in his troop only those men who proved their worth on a challenging track. Also in those days, it was also a common practice to steal women from the neighboring villages.

More Fun for All Ages

This year’s festival will also include the vipukelkka (whipsled) — which is known by many other names in Finnish including napakelkka, hulluhevonen and hoijakka — and much more. And new this year — hobbyhorses! Watch this space for more details!


See you there!