The 3rd July marks the annual “wife carrying championships” in Finland. This world-renowned summer event in Sonkajärvi origins lies in the legend of Rosvo-Ronkainen, a Finn living in the 1800s who led men in the raiding of villages for food and would carry the women off on their backs. The Finnish word, ‘eukonkanto’ is colloquially translated as “wife carrying race” in English – although the more accurate translation is the “old hag-carrying race”.
The first race was held in 1992 and has been held annually since, with competitors primarily from Finland, but also Estonia and Germany to name a few. In fact there is a technique the Estonians have developed over the years; the “Estonian carry” where the wife hangs upside down with her legs around the husbands shoulders holding onto his waist.
So we thought in this week’s blog we would have a look at the rules and regulations (if there are any!) for this rather bizarre, yet extremely popular championship that is underway today.
- The length of the track is 253.5 meters
- The track has two dry obstacles and one water obstacle (around a meter deep)
- The wife to be carried may be your own, or your neighbours
- The minimum weight of the wife to be carried is 49 kilos. If the wife weighs less than this, she will have to carry a heavy rucksack to ensure the minimum weight of 49 kilos is reached
- The contestants run the race two at a time, so each heat is a contest in itself
- There are two official categories, “Official Wife Carrying World Championships” Series and the “Senior” series of contestants over the age of 40
- There is a prize for the most entertaining couple, the best dressed and strongest carrier
- All participants must have fun!
- The winner receives the wife’s weight in beer!
Our Transun breaks operate to the North of Finland during the polar nights, where you can traverse the Arctic landscape via snowmobile, husky and reindeer – no wife carrying in sight! Take a look at our dedicated Snowmobile breaks and husky tours as well as our Northern Lights breaks. All available to book online now!