The world’s first Tree Hugging World Championships 2020 is to be staged in the ski resort of Levi in Lapland, northern Finland, on Saturday August 22nd, 2020.
The competition is being organised by HaliPuu, a small family owned company that was set up in Lapland in 2015, initially to protect the family’s own forest from felling and now working to spread the experience and benefits of loving trees worldwide.
Because of COVID-19, this year’s event is a modified pilot that has a limited live component and worldwide online components including live streaming of the entire event starting from 12.00 CET. The event kicks off the National Tree Hugging Week from 24th to 30th August which has been celebrated in Finland since 2016.
“Now more than ever, connecting with nature and finding peace and balance among trees – either live or virtually – has become more essential and needed, said Riitta Raekallio-Wunderink, CEO of HaliPuu.com, adding, “We act as a connector between nature and people and hopes to help everyone find their ideal way of experiencing the love of trees. In fact, the company name HaliPuu is Finnish for “a hugging tree”
Anyone can join in the worldwide online event taking a tree hugging picture and sharing it with HaliPuu. The pictures will be placed in HaliPuu’s Forest in Your Pocket -app, where they can be explored by map location.
Competitors should upload a photograph (not a video) of themselves or a loved one/friend hugging a tree at www.halipuu.com/treehugging2020/ or post it on Instagram with both hashtags #TreeHugging2020 and #HaliPuu by 11AM CET, Saturday 29th of August 2020
They should also include the coordinates of the tree in question so that it can be place it in the HaliPuu app and a maximum 25-word description of why you love this specific tree or why they love tree hugging in general.
HaliPuu’s CEO Riitta Raekallio-Wunderink
The winner will be selected by the judges based on the deep feeling conveyed in the treehug, and the creativity and fun in the picture.
The online contest winner will be invited to defend their title in a year’s time in person at the TreeHugging World Championships 2021 in the HaliPuu forest in Levi, receiving a week’s free accommodation sponsored by Visit Levi, and a private Arctic Cocooning experience with the HaliPuu-family during their trip.
For the physical competition in Levi this month, so far competitors representing nine countries have been announced. They are all currently living in Levi, Lapland, and therefore do not need to travel. Countries represented: Australia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Russia, Scotland and the USA.
Each participant will compete in three events:
- Speedhugging Most trees hugged in two minutes (In a clearly marked area, hugging as many trees as possible in two minutes, each hug lasting minimum five seconds)
- Dedication: Most dedicated hug of a specific tree lasting maximum one minute
- Freestyle: Most creative hug. Style open to contestant’s own interpretation, one tree only, lasting maximum one minute
The combined winner of all three categories will be awarded the prestigious title of TreeHugging World Champion 2020, and will receive a private Arctic Cocooning experience with the HaliPuu-family.