When most people think of nudist colonies, Finland rarely comes to mind. But the sauna-loving Finns are beginning to embrace the idea of going au natural for a brief period at the height of summer.
Juha Jonsson is one such naturist, as they call themselves. He is also the chairman of the Naturist Union of Finland, and plans to spend his three-week holiday wearing little more than a pair of sandals. “To a naturist, nudity is a way of life, not a hobby. Nudity is completely natural to me. It’s relaxing and makes me feel good,” Jonsson commented.
Yet despite the Finnish appreciation of nature and their love of saunas, the number of registered naturists in the country is surprisingly low. The Helsinki Times reports that neighbouring Sweden has ten times the number of registered nudists as Finland, and Germany has even more.
“Our cold climate doesn’t really inspire nudity. The nudist season in Spain lasts from March to around October or November, whereas in Finland three to four months would be the absolute maximum,” revealed Jonsson. But perhaps there are more naturists lurking around Finland that the registry indicates.
June’s 10km Nude Run of Finland in Padasjoki had 82 participants, and only a quarter of them were registered with the Union. In addition, a third of the people who signed up for July and August’s Naturist Days were not in the Union. Jonsson can’t accurately guess how many nudists there are in Finland but he thinks they probably number in the thousands.