Salla, the Finnish ski resort which markets itself as being “in the middle of nowhere”, has celebrated its annual AinPäin (“Upside Down”) Day.
The event, which takes place every July, uses the bright late evening light at its northerly latitude to do everything opposite to normal. “Äinpäin” is a Salla dialect word meaning “upside down”.
“People from Salla decided that because it is as bright at night as it is during the day, the whole day could be turned around on its head. This led to the idea of organizing the Upside Down event, allowing for all sorts of inventions during the evening that are reversed from their normal way of doing things,” Salla’s Mikaela Creutz explains.
So the resort goes in to Christmas mode with laundry hung out to dry next to the Christmas decorations, people wearing elf hat-headed people rush from one venue to another, and Festive tunes echo around the village. Competitions are organised, shops open into the night and you can of course meet a slightly bemused Santa.
Salla locals dress in warm winter wear, some with Christmas hats, and there are special meals too including delicacies such as Christmas ham bingo (this was a bingo game played one year), gingerbread cookies and mulled wine. A specialty served this year was a blood sausage prepared from local reindeer blood (a by-product of the reindeer meat industry).
The first Upside Down Day was organized almost ten years ago and has been so popular the village has organised it again every year since.
(All pictures credit to: Kea Creutz)