Colin Gillespie Period 9 March 7, 2015

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Finland is a much more mild country than most of its neighbors when it come to temperature. In January, Finland ranges from 25-35 Fahrenheit. The amount of precipitation varies among the north and south; the north receives around 27 inches annually while the north only receives 16 inches annually. "Northern Finland lies in the Land of the Midnight Sun and so has continuous daylight during part of the summer. At the country's northernmost point, constant daylight lasts for about 21/2 months. The period of midnight sun decreases southward. Southern Finland never has continuous daylight, but it averages 19 hours of daylight a day in midsummer"(Lindow,17). In the winter, however, Finland has days of continuous darkness. This is when one would see the Aurora Borealis, usually found in more northern parts of Finland. One of the best times to visit Finland is around the month of July. July temperatures in Finland average 55 to 63 °F. The temperature reaches 50 °F or higher on 110 to 122 days a year in the south and on 50 to 85 days a year in the north.
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The Finnish culture is one of family and diversity. The Evangelical Lutheran Church is the state church of Finland, and the national government has supreme authority over it. But the people have complete freedom of worship. Most Finns are Evangelical Lutherans.Many people do not belong to any religious group. Religions with small followings in Finland include various other Protestant churches and the Eastern Orthodox Church. There are many traditions of the Finnish people for the holiday Christmas. "On the first Sunday of Advent the traditional song, Voggler's "Hosanna" is played in all the churches. There are also Advent concerts held in the evening....Finnish people also celebrate St. Lucia day, which was introduced into Finland in the 1920's....At sunset, on Christmas Eve, Finns make their way to the graveyards and cemeteries, where a service is held. Candles are placed on the graves. The Finns also celebrate the day after Christmas St. Stephen's day. Fortunes are told on New Years Eve"(Museum of Science and Industry). The languages of Finland consist of Finnish and Swedish. Most people speak Finnish (makes sense), but a lot of people also speak Swedish in the south and west coast and on the offshore of the Aland Islands.


  • One activity to do while in Finland would to go to the Senate Square in Helsinki. It is a unique place consisting of political, religious, scientific, and commercial powers right in the center of the city. The capital first was established in 1550 and was brought to its current location in the 1600's. It was conquered by Russia 1809 and it regained independence in 1917. City planning was characterized by Classicism and Functionalism.

  • Another activity is to go to the National Museum of Finland. The museum illustrates Finland's culture from prehistoric time to the present. Exhibits include Prehistoric Times, The Bronze Age, The Stone Age, The Iron Age, and The Realm of 12th-17th century.

  • The building of Olavinlinna, castle of St. Olaf, began in 1475. The Danish-born founder of the castle, knight Erik Axelsson Tott, decided that a powerful fortification should be build to protect the strategically important Savo region. The castle was supposed to repel Russian attacks from the east and to guarantee the control of the Savo region for the Swedish Crown. It now is a double museum with artifacts from the St. Olaf period.


Finland is a republic with a representative democracy governed accordingly to the principles of parliamentarism. The President of Finland is Sauli Niinisto, and the Prime Minister is Alexander Stubb. Niinisto, the 12th president, was elected in 2012 whereas Stubb was brought in in 2014. The Finnish use Euros as currency. One Euro equals 1.11 dollars in the US. The 2014 estimate of the GDP of Finland was $221.5 billion, and per capita $40,500. Exports annually make up $78 billion and consist of machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, timber, paper, and pulp.


One of the traditional foods of Finland is Karjalan Pirakka. It is a pastry that originated in eastern Karelia, hence the nickname Karelian Pies. Karjalan Pirakka is made with a hard crust, and a soft buttery inside; a type of pie. They can fit in your hand, and they melt in your mouth.


Karjalan Piirakka

Recipe for Crust

2 cups (course) rye flour

3/4 cup whole wheat or spelt flour

1 cup water

1 tsp salt

Combine flour and salt and then add water, stir until it looks like the above mixture. Let it sit for a few hours. Grind your own flour if you can because it’s better when it’s grainy and course.

Recipe for Rice Porridge

2 cups uncooked short grain brown rice

1 litre of whole milk

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter


Cover brown rice with water, bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Add milk while stirring to make sure the milk doesn’t burn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add salt and butter. If the whole mixture is too thick add more milk. Cool before making the rice boats.

Making the “Boats”

Preheat oven to 375°F

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

Take some dough and shape into a roll about two inches thick. Then cut about a one inch piece to make each individual crust.

Pat it out first using lots of flour (dough is very sticky)

Use a rolling pin adding flour each time you turn it to make it into an oval shape.

Spread a thin, even layer of rice porridge leaving an inch in the perimeter.

Fold over in the center and pinch along to each end.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Make sure they are brown, crispy and well done before you pull them out of the oven.

Final step, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a pot and melt 1/2 cup butter in it. Remove from heat. Dip each individual piirakka into the butter mixture immediately upon taking out of the oven.

Serve at room temperature with egg butter (below), or drizzle honey on it and top with a slice of cheese.

Egg Butter

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 pinch fresh ground white pepper (optional)
1 pinch ground ginger (optional)

In a small bowl, cream the butter. Stir in the eggs.
Season with the white pepper and ground ginger, if desired.
Cool the pastries and serve with the egg butter at room temperature.

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To fly from O'hare Airport in Chicago, Il, to Helsinki Finland, would be approximately $1841, 19 hours and 3593 miles.

Day 1: Arrive in Helsinki, check in to Hotel Kamp in Helsinki. ($672 a night)

Day 2: Go sightseeing, including going to the capital/senate square. ($25 for taxi there and back)

Day 3: Go to National Museum of Finland ($10 for ticket)

Day 4: Relax at hotel with complimentary fruit baskets, wine, wifi, and multiple pools

Day 5: Go to Olavinlinna Castle, seeing the artifacts of the 15th century ($9 for ticket), leave for Immel to ski

Day 6: Check in to the Immel Suites and go skiing for the day ($240)

Day 7: Fly back to Chicago ($1841)

TOTAL= roughly $6654



Finland. (n.d.). Retrieved from Fact Monster website:

Finland. (n.d.). Retrieved from Museum of Science and Industry website:

Lindow, J. (n.d.). Finland. In World Book Online. Retrieved from