The dates given in this calendar can vary from year to year. Check with the Scandinavian Tourist Board for the exact dates and contact information.
Finlandia Ski Race-Ski Marathon, Hämeenlinna-Lahti. With almost 80km (50 miles) of cross-country skiing, this mass event is part of the Euroloppet and Worldloppet competitions. For more information, call tel. 81-68-13 or visit www.finlandiahiihto.fi. Late February.
Oulu Tar Ski Race, Oulu. This cross-country ski race has taken place each year, without interruption, since it was first established more than a century ago. Following a course that stretches more than 76km (47 miles) -- and with hundreds of participants -- it's the oldest long-distance cross-country ski race in the world. For more information, call tel. 88-5584-1330; www.oulu.ouka.fi. Early to mid-March.
Walpurgis Eve Celebration. After a long, cold winter, most Helsinki residents turn out to celebrate the arrival of spring. Celebrations are held at Market Square, followed by May Day parades and other activities the next morning. Check www.istc.org. April 30.
May Day. Parades and other celebrations herald the arrival of spring. For information, serch www.finnguide.fi. May 1.
Women's 10km. This is a 10km (6-mile) foot race for women. For more detailed information on this event, contact any office of the Scandinavian Tourist Board (tel. 212/885-9700 in the U.S., or 09/310-1691; www.hel.fi). Late May.
Kuopio Dance Festival. This international dance event has a different theme every year, such as dances in Japan, the Middle East, and North Africa. For more information, call tel. 050/322-5220 or visit www.kuopiodancefestival.fi. Mid to late June.
Midnight Sun Film Festival, Sodankylä. The world's northernmost film festival features nostalgic releases from the great film masters -- mainly European -- but also new names in the film world. For more information, call tel. 81/66-14-524 or visit www.msfilmfestival.fi. Dates vary.
Savonlinna Opera Festival. One of Europe's best-known music festivals, this is part of a cultural tradition established in 1912. Dozens of performances are held in the island fortress of Olavinlinna Castle in July. Internationally renowned artists perform a variety of works, including at least one Finnish opera. For details and complete information, contact the Savonlinna Opera Festival, Olavinkatu 27, FIN-57130 Savonlinna (tel. 015/47-67-50; www.operafestival.fi). Early July to early August.
Kaustinen Folk Music Festival. This is the biggest international folk festival in Scandinavia. For more information, contact the Folk Arts Centre (tel. 06/888-6111; www.kaustinen.fi). Dates vary.
Turku Music Festival (tel. 02/262-0814; www.turkumusicfestival.fi). A wide range of music is presented from the Renaissance and the baroque periods (played on the original instruments) to modern, light music. Second week of August.
Helsinki City Marathon (tel. 09/3481-2405; www.helsinkicitymarathon.com). This event attracts both Finnish and foreign runners of varying abilities. Mid-August.
Helsinki Festival. A major Scandinavian musical event, the Helsinki Festival presents orchestral concerts by outstanding soloists and ensembles; chamber music and recitals; exhibitions; ballet, theater, and opera performances; and jazz, pop, and rock concerts. For complete information about the program, contact the Helsinki Festival, Lasipalatsi Mannerheimintie 22-24 FIN-00100 Helsinki (tel. 09/612-651-00; www.helsinkifestival.fi). Mid-August to early September.
The Baltic Herring Market. Since the 1700s, there has been an annual herring market along the quays of Helsinki's Market Square in early October. Prizes and blue ribbons go to the tastiest herring. Fishers continue the centuries-old tradition of bringing their catch into the city and selling it from their boats. First week in October. Call tel. 09/173-331 for information.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.