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Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Arctic #nofilter: 15 Instagram snapshots that show why Lapland’s the crown jewel of the North

Aurea borealis over cottages in Lapland, Finland

Free pro tip: too much Instagram at bedtime will mess with your sleep. On the other hand, if you open Instagram first thing after your alarm rings in the morning, your phone’s screen will help you wake up. Put simply, Instagram can be a fantastic infusion of beauty into your day when you need it the most.

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Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights in Helsinki

12 ways Finnish Christmas loneliness can eat you alive

Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights in Helsinki

Christmas, at least in Finland, is supposed to be a lot of things: family festivities to contrast almost constant darkness. Gifts, rituals, traditions, journeys to home towns.

Everyone isn’t able to go with that flow. Not everyone wants it either.

However, Finnish society shuts down around Christmas, whether you have people to be with or not. So, if you know someone who might want company around Christmas, it’s probably not a bad idea to invite them to some part of your festivities.

Mental health crisis center hotline, Finland

If you’re on the side of waiting out Christmas and things get really gnarly, please be in touch with the crisis hotline of the Finnish Association of Mental Health.

We think this topic is serious: If you have suggestions and helpful tips on things to do during Christmas, let everyone know in the comments down below.
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sno-coupe_2

Go go snow! The incredible stories of the world’s coolest snowmobiles

sno-coupe_2

Living in the 21st century, it’s easy to forget that until relatively recently populations in cold-weather areas were practically stranded by snowy winters. That all changed with the invention of engine-powered snowmobiles. While we’re all familiar with the modern version it turns out the snowmobile has a long and colourful history, spanning more than a century. To celebrate this we’re taken a trip down a memory lane, and unearthed the coolest snow transports of all time. Wrap up warm and enjoy the ride!

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Helsinki ice smoke

These magical photos show what it’s like to be at sea at minus 28 degrees

Helsinki ice smoke

In the last few months, the consequences of climate change have hit different parts of the world with a mad vengeance. Here in Finland, that took the form of the warmest December on record leading many people to bemoan the lack of snow. As an Englishman who’s experienced many a Finnish winter, I instead wallowed in the balmy temperatures confident in the knowledge that we had three more months of sub-zero, beard-freezing hardship to come. That was demonstrated, in fine Arctic style, this week when temperatures plummeted as low as minus 28 in Helsinki. One surreal consequence of this uncannily fast freeze was an awe-inspiring phenomenon which makes the sea look as though it’s cloaked in smoke. Both beautiful and bizarre, it literally took my breath away.

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