10 fantastic facts about Sami and reindeer life in Finland

Friday, 2nd September 2016

Amy Gibbs

finland lapland reindeer winter sun do

Back from her trip to Finland, Amy, our Nordic Sales Manager, gives us 10 fascinating facts about Sami and reindeer life…

1. Reindeer season starts from May where all the reindeer are counted up as reindeer farms can only have a certain quota to make sure the natural surroundings can sustain them

2. In Finland there are 3 types of Sami. Northern Sami are the largest group and have 10,000 speakers. Inari Sami’s come next and then the Skolt Sami

finland lapland kakslauttanen reindeer sledge sami kar

3. Marks will be put in the reindeers ear to identify their owner. Each owner will have different markings and this is much safer than tagging the reindeer or micro chipping them and is an old Sami tradition

4. There is a lot of meaning to the Sami costumes that were worn. You can tell from a costume which family they come from and if the person is married or not. Their costumes will all be quite similar and include blue and red in their dress. The pattern and detailing will determine their family and status. Some Sami costumes will be worn today for special occasions

sweden lapland icehotel reindeer

5. Only male reindeers will be used for working on the tours as the females will need to carry the calves

finland lapland levi reindeer safaris vl

6. A reindeer will always lose their horns around March time and this will happen once a year. It is not painful at all and will always grown back the same way

finland lapland reindeer feeding

7. Reindeer have a strong sense of smell, and it’s that sense of smell that assist them in finding the lichen under the snow. They can sniff out the plant material through snow that is 60 centimeters deep

finnish lapland ruka reindeer in forest rk

8. The Sami culture have inhabited the northern arctic for more than 5000 years and there have been remains of settlements dating back to 10,000BC

finland sami handicraft vf

9. The Sami have now their own parliament in Finland and are involved in decisions regarding their own cultural integrity and well-being

sweden lapland icehotel reindeer and sami

10. Reindeers are the only mammal whose eyes are known to change colour.

swedish lapland stora sjofallet reindeer ss

Feeling inspired?

Did you know, the Sami Siida Museum in Inari, Finland is regarded as one of the best places in the world to learn about the Sami history and culture?

Start planning your adventure: Browse all Finland holidays here

Popular blog posts

Aurora Prediction Alert

The coronal hole that has caused strong auroral storms since August 2018 remains open and has resulted in some spectacular aurora sightings...
  • Northern Lights

Thursday, 6th December 2018

Jess Weatherson

The 29th Icehotel Art Suites revealed!

The iconic Icehotel in Swedish Lapland has just opened for another winter season marking the 29th incarnation of extraordinary hotel.
  • Icehotel

Tuesday, 18th December 2018

Pam Forrest

Cathy Harlow: Hiking in East Greenland Tour Highlights

In summer 2019, Wanderlust award-winning guide Cathy Harlow is travelling again to the wild and remote East Greenland coast to guide our nine-day ‘Hiking in East Greenland’ adventure. There’s so much about East Greenland that inspires Cathy but there are a few truly special experiences that make this trip stand out, read on to find out more…
  • Adventure
  • Inspire Me

Wednesday, 24th October 2018

Cathy Harlow