Happy New Year Finland Style
There’s always something unique about celebrating the New Year in a different culture. Our new tradition (at least for this year), Casting of the Tin! This is an old Finnish tradition used to determine ones fortune for the upcoming year. Everyone is provided with a tin horseshoe.
Here’s how it works…hold the tin horseshoe over an open fire, once melted quickly dump the liquid tin into a pot of water. The tin will immediately form a new shape. Take the shape to a light and see what shadow is created by the new shape. This shadow determines your fortune for the new year. Scott’s new shape was a dragon = a big surprise, and Katie’s new shape was a tree = traveling. If your tin forms many small pieces or breaks apart into several pieces, it is a sign of bad luck for the upcoming year (just a bit of pressure).
After casting the tin and a New Year’s Eve dinner, we took a ride on the snowmobiles out to the aurora camp in search of the lights again. We must say, it gets quite addicting to hunt for the lights. The reward is worth it! Unfortunately there were only some faint sightings, but cloud cover kept us from experiencing the lights on this night. Good thing we brought some bubbly to keep get our celebration started!
Upon returning to the lodge, we were excited to bring in the New Year with another Finnish tradition… fireworks! The small lake out back was the setting along with a huge roaring campfire and more bubbly to celebrate. To make the night a little more enjoyable, there is a sledding hill right next to the campfire leading up to the lake! This night was enhanced as was many others enjoying the festivities with our new English friends. Of course everyone enjoys a good New Year’s Eve celebration, including the hotel staff and adventure guides. After the fireworks we headed to the bar to cheers in the new year the right way….beers. We had all of our new friends at the table and then the guides decided to join us and sing us a song. It was quite comical. Overall a great way to start the New Year!!
Our last night, and what would be a better way then to send us off with one last night of dancing lights. Well, let’s go back to how we arrived at this point. As we all know waking up on New Year’s Day can be a tad sluggish. Originally scheduled for snowshoeing at 10 am, we were not really looking forward to another activity after a late night of fun. After a little finagling, and a little extra money, we switched to taking out the snowmobiles and hunting for the lights one last time.
The decision became contagious and two other couples (our new friends from the UK) decided to join us. Our journey began weaving through the forest, especially fun at night! Progressing onto Lake Inari was a little disheartening. Due to the change in temperature, the lake was pretty well covered with fog. Definitely not a positive sign! Optimistically we continued our ride out about 15 kilometers to a new remote area. Once again our guide starts off by making a fire in the hut while we get situated and waited for the sky to entertain us. Thankfully we were patient! The fog pushed aside just enough for us to get one last show (fire hut is on bottom right)!
We returned to celebrate, and enjoy the auroras for a bit longer as they continued to light up the sky for another hour or so. Again, once we were the last one’s standing, it was time to say goodbye to our new friends and prepare for a 6 am departure. Nellim provided us everything we were hoping for and more! Auroras, friends, auroras, food, auroras, beverages, auroras, activities and loads about the Finnish culture in Lapland! Off to Helsinki…..