What events in Kilpisjärvi may lack in number, they make up for in uniqueness. An ice- fishing competition in May, a skiing competition in Midsummer, the opportunity to catch Finland’s largest Arctic char, and spending Christmas under the polar nights bring visitors to Kilpisjärvi from afar, and guarantee unforgettable stories and memories to take home.
Only 2 fish’ ice-fishing event
Organising an ice-fishing competition in May anywhere else in Finland might be a risky proposition, but in Kilpisjärvi, the lakes are still frozen even in June. The competition’s fun atmosphere and fantastic prizes attract thousands of visitors to Kilpisjärvi every year.
In Kilpisjärvi, summer starts with Midsummer, which is celebrated with a fun competition designed to get bodies sweating and hearts pumping. The traditional Fitness-Midsummer programme includes orienteering, boot-throwing, mountain running on the Saana fell, and a Midsummer skiing competition which has been held over 70 times. There are also Midsummer bonfires dotted around the area as well as several evening activities on offer.
TosiRautu trolling competition
Every year, Finland’s biggest Arctic char are caught in Kilpisjärvi lake, in the incredible fell surroundings. The relaxed TosiRautu trolling competition takes place 500m (1,640 feet) above sea level, in the week after Midsummer. The competition reaches its peak with the Lapland Arctic char fishing championships. The biggest single catch in TosiRautu competition history was in 2009, weighing in at 4.9kg (11 lbs) when gutted (and 5.18kg before gutting), while the biggest total haul, from the year 2013, weighed in at a staggering 13.083kg (29 lbs) – gutted, and with no exaggeration!
Christmas at Kilpisjärvi is celebrated during the atmospheric polar nights. On certain weekends there is a traditional Christmas fair at Siilastupa, but you may also find Christmas sales in the village centre. Enontekiö parish organises a festive song and dance as well as a Christmas church service. Local businesses offer several different options for celebrating Christmas parties. Since Kilpisjärvi is so close to the Norwegian border, traditional Christmas meals offered by local restaurants feature plenty of Norwegian delicacies.