This Friday I’m featuring great shot from a reindeer race taken by Katalin Waga from Our Life, Our Travel Blog.
Katalin is a Hungarian geographer who has been living in Finland for 5 years. That’s where she met with her husband and started to study (and work with) forestry. She likes nature, traveling, hiking, swimming and keep learning winter sports. Do follow more of her stories and pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo Story: Reindeer Race
I saw hundreds of reindeer during five years while I have been living in Finland, but this was a special day as it was my first (and only) reindeer race I have ever seen.
Reindeer are important part of the life in Finnish Lapland. Traditionally Sámi people were herding reindeer, but currently it is open for anyone who resides in Lapland. Nowadays about 200.000 reindeer live almost totally freely in the reindeer herding districts which covers the third of the country. They are mainly kept for their meat, fur and touristic value, but also used for this traditional sport.
Finally, a small dream came true: I had the opportunity to watch a reindeer race! Several smaller events are organized throughout the winters but we lived still over a thousand kilometer from them, so I had to wait patiently. This race is the biggest and oldest one in Finland, and takes place on the – frozen – lake of Inari!
If you have seen horse races then the concept should be familiar. Usually 4 reindeer and their jokey race once at a time. They are pulled after the animals on skis while motivating them to run faster. Pretty exciting for someone like me who is from the south and hardly can imagine to ride and stay alive on skis while sliding with such a speed.
I have spent over 3 hours in the cold (-10°C) near the finish lane to take pictures of the race. My friends asked if it had worth it. I just kept smiling.