CultureNature in Finland

Tree hugging contest Finland

Tree hugging contest Finland

A quirky Finnish custom caught the attention of the international media this week when the annual world tree-hugging championships were held last weekend in the HaliPuu forest in Levi, Lapland.

Boomknuffelwedstrijd Finland
Photo credit: HaliPuu

The championship, which started only last year, includes three categories of tree hugging: fast hugging, dedication and freestyle hugging. This year’s event included participants (all residents of the nearby town of Levi) representing Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Australia, Scotland, Hungary and Spain.

Due to travel restrictions, participation was by invitation only; however, organisers encouraged anyone interested to enter the online TreeHugging World Championships 2021. Participants could submit a photo showing them hugging their favourite tree until 28 August.

Tree-hugging championship takes root in Finland

The second annual World Tree Hugging Championships took place this year in the HaliPuu forest in Levi, Lapland. Reigning champion Stefania from Italy was named the overall best tree hugger for the second time in a row.

Representatives from Australia and Hungary won the initiation round by effectively demonstrating their passion for tree hugging, while Scotland scored highest in the freestyle category. Anya from Switzerland won the speed category after hugging nearly 11 trees in one minute.

The virtual competition, open to people around the world, ended on 28 August. The prize includes a train trip for two from Helsinki to Lapland and a one-week stay at a hotel in Levi.

Original story was published by the Barentsz Observer and Femina.