How to embrace the winter Finnish style and see how we prepare for Chinese New Year

Embrace winter in Finland  

Here in Finland, winter is dark with long nights and scarce daylight. I was born and grew up in a southern city of China, which is heavy of tropical odors with daily temperature ranging from 15 to 28 ℃ in January, an climate totally different from wintertime here.  

Hence dark days and freezing weather are likely to create a sense of melancholy, especially during the pandemic days that call for social distance. Winter in Finland, however, can also give us a completely different and exotic experience with snow and ice. Winter provides me great opportunities to embrace the unique snowy landscape, enjoy amazing sown events, appreciate the warmth of a campfire or just stroll on a frozen lake.

Frozen sea in Otaniemi
  • Snow events 

Snow scooter, Husky sledge, ice skating, skiing on the track…. there are diversified activities we can do in a fascinated winter wonderland and enjoy the outdoor views in cities or wilderness. I used to be down for being at home alone for few days. But after a short skiing tour with several friends, It’s not an exaggeration that I feel like the world is full of joy and glee. One of the best things I’ve experienced in this winter is to bring a Thermos full of hot drink with me while sitting around the campfire after a whole-day skiing practice.

A puppy running from afar delights my day
A puppy running from afar delights my day

Yup, next let’s jump into some guidance about how we approach the darkness and coldness in Finnish wintertime. 

  • Stay healthy lifestyle with some snacks, vitamins supplement and regular exercise 

It’s a bit cliché but still remember to eat healthy, get vitamin supplement and exercise during wintertime.  

In particular, food can have many effects on our mood and emotion. I prepare a snack box for myself which contains all kinds of snacks, spicy beans, sweet chocolate … Processing delicious meals could help us feel euphoric but to be aware not being sugar-addiction. Some dairy products are fortified with vitamin D to make sure we get enough with the lack of sunlight. It might also be useful to keep exercise on a regular basic. Outdoor jogging seems to be not that easy and comfortable those cold winter days, but there are numerous indoor movements we can enjoy and it is also the perfect time to get hooked on indoor Yoga or board games such as Just Dance with friends. 

Skiing lesson
Skiing lesson

More tips about the dressings or refection moments in winter 

You are welcome to check more appealing contents created by our other squad members: 

https://blogs.aalto.fi/studentambassadors/2019/01/29/how-to-survive-the-winter-in-finland/ 

https://blogs.aalto.fi/studentambassadors/2018/01/12/finland-winter-a-time-for-reflection/ 


Chinese New Year 

  • Making the customary food — dumplings 

Chinese New Year, is known as the Spring Festival and it is the MOST IMPORTANT celebration in lunar calendar. In Chinese tradition, each year is named after one of 12 animals, which feature in the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.  Accordingly, 2021 is a year of the Ox, starting from Feb 12th and lasting for 15 days.  Usually we decorate the house with red lanterns, red couplets as red is the lucky color in Chinese culture.  

For the meal at Chinese New Year Eve (Feb 11th), I am planning to make the customary food jiaozi , aka dumplings, which is a ultimate comfort food with silky and juicy mouthfeel. You can buy the wrapper from Asian market or just make it at your own kitchen with some flour and baking powder. Dumplings are normally filled with some mixture of vegetables and meats. 

Dumplings
  • Collect red envelope in a digital way 

Hongbao, or red envelope, is a traditional monetary gift delivering good wishes and greetings sent by elders or friends during the Chinese New Year Festival. Parents usually give their children red envelopes after the reunion dinner, wishing them health and good luck in the coming year.  This year I would not receive the lucky money on site but there is a popular game from Alipay to encourage people collect and exchange red pocket in a digital way.  

Users can collect the ‘Wufu‘ cards through several activities such as using AR technology to scan the ‘Fu’ character. 

People who finish collecting task will be allocated RMB 500 million :O on New Year’s Eve and receive the red envelope with random amount of money. 

Wufu campaign
Wufu campaign
Red envelope
Red envelope

This activity has become more of a fun social holiday tradition rather than a way to get much money. Although I am in Otaniemi, a city 7000 miles away from my hometown but I can still feel the supportive connection and festival atmosphere with digital tools and also with my lovely friends here. XD 

 

Hopes for next travel adventure
Hopes for next travel adventure

Shuangyi Chen
Management and International Business
Aalto study options
Contact email: aaltosquad(at)aalto.fi


To see more posts from the previous blog platform please visit: https://ourblogs.aalto.fi/en/more-than-the-degree

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