Sunday, February 23, 2014

The annual Sami winter market at Jokkmokk

The Samis are the indigenous people of Lappland which spans the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland. Every year they have 2 annual markets which act as a conference for this wandering nomadic people. We were lucky to be in the area to witness the winter market at Jokkmokk.

The day we decided to visit was a super cold day for us with temperatures at -6 degrees celsius but for the Samis it was a warm day.

Nevertheless the entire place looked like it was a picture postcard and we felt we were in it. That's how surreal it was.

It reminded me of the Christmas markets but on a larger scale. There were over 500 stalls selling different wares - warm clothing made from alpaca wool, fleece, reindeer skin to various cheeses and other sweets.

It was also a cultural event to showcase Sami traditions. There were various parallel programs taking place at several locations and one had to be super organised if one wanted to get the most out of them. Unfortunately walking through the snow is not the most easy thing to do and we had to make do with whatever we managed to see.

                         There was a political protest taking place in the middle of the market.

                                                         Not sure what was brewing on the fire

                                                                      There was an Elvis too!
                                                  This was the venue of the winter games!

But the highlight was the Sami reindeer parade. It was a Sami family with their reindeer all decked up in traditional gear. I somehow was expecting a huge parade and was a bit disappointed with the actual one.

                                                            This Sami woman has visited Goa

                                                       The new church....................

                                                                  and the Old Church

I love their church decorations

                                                       Dog sledding on the frozen lake

Now am curious to see what their summer annual market looks like and hopefully will be able to make it there.