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Teksti Victoria Dorofeeva

February Ski week in Suomi or how to become Finnish with hiihtoloma

Ski week and skiing are a long finnish tradition. In this archive photo from olden times students from Jyväskylä seminar are enjoying some winter activities.

Feel exhausted and fed up with homework in the middle of the new spring semester? Whether you’re an exchange or international degree student rejoice at the approaching Finnish winter holiday break! 

Ski week, in Finnish hiihtoloma (hiihtää – to ski, loma – holidays, sometimes also called talviloma (talvi – winter) is a feature of Finnish educational system that allows kindergarten, school and university students to enjoy outdoor activities before saying goodbye to the winter. Thanks to Santeri Hirvonen, PE teacher from Kouvala, since 1930s kindergartens get closed, and school students get involved into organized sports activities outside for a week. Even though hiihtoloma is not obligatory for universities, many teachers cancel their classes during this period. So, even if you don’t get the whole week off, some free time can be occupied in a healthy way.

Some free time can be occupied in a healthy way.

The ski week in Finland usually takes place from the middle of February to the middle of March. Exact timing of hiihtoloma varies across the whole country based on the area. It first arrives to brighten up students’ mood to the southern part of Finland, then next week it’s in Central area, and after that in Lapland and the rest of the north. This year ski week in Central Finland is on the 9th week, from 24th to the 1st of March.

We see a peculiar warm weather of this winter as an advantage and highly encourage you to enjoy Finnish nature awakening from the cold season and take care of your physical health. You can choose from various activities including ice-skating on local rinks, skiing at Laajavuori (don’t worry, there’s always snow there in winter), snowshoeing, sledding, hiking, or just going to the swimming pool AaltoAlvari in Seminaarinmäki or visiting local cat café Kissakylä.

Irrespective of the weather, let’s make the best out of this wellbeing week!

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