We take a look at how our European neighbours celebrate Easter – there's not a hot cross bun in sight!Read more...
Lapland - At a glance
Lapland at a glance
Location Lapland is the northernmost part of Scandinavia. The region spreads across Norway, Sweden, Finland (and the Kola peninsula in Russia, not covered here) and is generally considered to lie between the North Cape at 71°N and the Arctic Circle at 66°N. However, Lapland’s indigenous population, the Sámi, consider their homeland to stretch as far south as central Sweden and Norway, an area they call Sápmi.
Size/area Lapland covers approximately 300,000 km² (115,000 square miles), an area bigger than the whole of the United Kingdom.
Climate Subarctic with sparse vegetation.
Status Lapland is composed of Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish provinces, which answer to national governments in Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm. The Sámi parliaments in Finland, Norway and Sweden aim to promote Sámi culture though they have limited political power.
Population Approximately 900,000 people live in Lapland of whom around 66,000 are indigenous Sámi (40,000 in Norway, 20,000 in Sweden and 6,000 in Finland).
Main towns Finnish Lapland: Ivalo, Rovaniemi, Tornio; Norwegian Lapland: Hammerfest, Narvik, Tromsø; Swedish Lapland: Luleå, Gällivare, Kiruna
Language Finnish, Norwegian, Sámi and Swedish
Religion Traditionally, the Sámi believed in animism whereby everything in nature from animals to minerals has a soul. Today, though, Sámi and non- Sámi alike are Evangelical-Lutheran.
Currency Finnish Lapland: euro; Norwegian Lapland: Norwegian krone; Swedish Lapland: Swedish krona (for up-to-date rates, see www.xe.com)
International telephone codes Finland +358, Norway +47, Sweden +46
Time Winter: Norwegian and Swedish Lapland GMT + 1 hour, Finnish Lapland GMT + 2 hours; summer: Norwegian and Swedish Lapland GMT + 2 hours, Finnish Lapland GMT + 3 hours.
Electrical voltage 220V; European two-pin plugs
Weights and measures Metric
Flag The Sámi flag is based on the motifs of a shaman’s drum and the sun. It features a yellow and green stripe crossed by a red and blue circle, all overlaid against a blue and red background.
Public holidays Finnish Lapland: 1, 6 January, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 17 May, Whit Sunday, 23 June, 3 November, 6, 25, 26 December; Norwegian Lapland: 1 January, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 1, 17 May, Whit Sunday, Whit Monday, 25, 26 December; Swedish Lapland: 1, 6 January, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 1, 17 May, Whit Sunday, 6, 23 June, 1 November, 25, 26 December