Sami Easter Festival 2012 – A hit, some misses

12 Apr

This easter was spent in Kautokeino, my home town (or rather village). This is the time of year when the cultural offers here are at its largest, as it is the biggest event of the year. The Sami Easter Festival is held annually, and both locals and tourists gather to join in on the festives.

The fresh air, snow-covered tundra, and the easy way of life makes this one of my favorite places to visit. That and the fact that most of my family lives here.
The time doesn’t matter, but there’s something to do all day long, and someone to visit all night. When you are visiting with someone it is still tradition to serve coffee and sweets, or even hot food.

Top things to do in Kautokeino during the Sami Easter Festival

Snowmobile riding
It’s great fun. I think I had the privilege of riding the oldest snowmobile in Kautokeino. It didn’t go very fast, but at least I didn’t have to worry about wrecking it.
Bring warm clothes, sausages, warm coffee, milk, and chocolate (either Kvikk Lunsj, or some other choc from Finland).

Sami Grand Prix
The Sámi Eurovision. It’s the biggest deal of Easter. Everyone gets dressed up for this traditional and appreciated event. There is both traditional joik and singing.

Watch the reindeer race
This can really only be considered fun if you know one of the contestants, one of the reindeers, or if you want to see a reindeer upfront. It is what it is. If you want to ride in a sleigh carried by a reindeer you should look anywhere near where the race is being held. This year there were two races, which is ridiculous. A lot of things about this years’ festival cooperation is just that.

Visit the Juhls’ Silvergallery
A sight in itself. I mostly buy traditional Sámi jewelry, as well as interior design for my home. Prices vary, and this is a great (only) place to get gifts!

Enjoy traditional Sámi food.
There’s not a lot of options, and my best advice is to get to know some locals and let them know you would like to try something traditional. If you’re too crazy and noone wants to invite you there are three traditional choices:
– Thon Hotel Kautokeino: The prices are v. stiff, and I’ve never been happy with the food here, but some are.
– Bákteharji: Buy a Sámi kebab(!) after hours. Christ.
– Pit Stop: The best restaurant offer in Kautokeino, but you’ll have to look closely at the menu for something traditional as this is a Turkish eatery (I might be wrong).

Enjoy the rest of the festival programme, and drive over the border to Enontekiö
OK, so I crammed 2 into 1, but there’s so much to do during Easter. And Finland has way better chocolate than Norway. Tupla ❤


This year the Sami Film Festival (held outdoors, with seats made of ice) was missing. It was a shame as this is not something you can experience a lot of other places.

What was also missing was a tourist information, unless you count in the parking lot before ‘Mattaluoppal’ with the “i” sign followed with a fewinformative posters plastered on a board. 😐

I already mentioned the two seperate reindeer races, but I didn’t mention that they were held on the same day, at the exact time! Great business.



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