Events

Reindeer races

The reindeer races, held in Sodankylä in the late winter-early spring, are a must-see experience. You can experience the excitement of the races every year in Sattanen and every other year in Luosto.

Sattanen Reindeer Race and Luosto Reindeer Race

The Sattanen reindeer races are held every year on Good Friday, when the shining white snow blanket of the late winter is at its best. There is commentary at the reindeer races, so the first-time visitor and people unfamiliar with reindeer herding can keep up.

The village of Sattanen is a short distance to the north of the centre of Sodankylä. The races are signposted from the main road and you will be directed to a parking space on site.

Don’t forget! Take cash with you so you can buy tickets for the races and buy food and drinks from the stalls in the race area. Also, remember to dress warmly from head to toe!

The structure of the race area means spectators can get quite close to the racing reindeer, allowing them to admire them and take photos.

The races attract large crowds, and in addition to the reindeer races, lasso and fur boot throwing competitions are also held. The boot thrown is called a “nutukas” and is traditional Saami footwear made of reindeer hide. The lasso is called a “suopunki” and used when rounding up reindeer. In the Sattanen lasso-throwing competition a training pole, rather than reindeer, are lassoed, however.

Luosto Reindeer Race

Luosto is in the heart of a wide reindeer herding area, and many reindeer from all over the Nordic countries take part in the race. The exciting Pyhä-Luoston Porocup (“Reindeer Cup”) games are usually held every other year. The race, organised in a spectacular setting among the fells, delights young and old, with plenty to see and do for visitors of all ages.

Did you know? The roots of reindeer racing in Lapland go back a hundred years. The race reindeer are trained male deer who have been prepared for the race systematically and professionally. A race deer is the apple of its owner’s eye.

Read more www.sattanen.info
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