When it comes to festivals, it is all about when you travel. I would go to Tromso, Norway, anyway, but if you are going there let it include the first weekend of February when you can see the National Reindeer Sledding Championships, and maybe the Northern Lights. The race takes place down the main street of Tromso, Storgata, and is the highlight of Sami Week.
The Sami are the indigenous people of the area, and many still make their living by reindeer husbandry, and other traditional occupations. Sami week includes many events, one of my favorites takes place in the market square where Sami people set up their traditional tents – Lavvua large tent which can accommodate up to 100 people and is used for poetry readings and musical performances. There is an opportunity to try your hand at lassoing, and to see those who use the lasso in their everyday life herding reindeer, as there is also the National Lasso Throwing Competition.
There are films screened in the Aurora cinema, exhibitions at the Perspektivet Museum and Tromsø museum, plays in the Cultural Centre and other activities at the library. But most of all you will enjoy just seeing the city full of Sami people, a lot of whom wear their traditional brightly colored costumes. You can even come across reindeer being led around the streets. If you enjoy Sami food try taking the course in Sami gourmet cooking at the restaurant Skarven. The atmosphere is light and fun-filled as the whole city comes alive. I have to say that having met Sami people in Norway, Sweden and Finland they are some of the nicest people around. Tromso also has many other activities to offer – see future posts.
SAS Airlines and Norwegian Air
Around first weekend of February