Samba on the streets of Helsinki: Hot carnival in the cool north

samba on street of helsinki, finland. photo by arihak.
Samba carnival on the streets of Helsinki.

Finns are not usually regarded as hot blooded dancers who like to impress their neighbors by dancing to latino rhythms on the streets in colorful costumes, but now, I have seen it in my own eyes that they can do it. The Helsinki Samba Carnival occupied the streets in the center of Finland’s capital Helsinki in June, allowing residents and visitors to get a glimpse of Brasilian party glamour.

senaatintori in helsinki, finland. image by arihak.
Senate Square in the center of Helsinki.

The central place of the carnival is the Senate Square (Senaatintori) in Helsinki, although concerts and events are organized in bars and restaurants as well. The carnival program covers six days altogether, and it ends with the most popular event when dancers and musicians bring the joy of samba to tens of thousands of residents and visitors who follow the show on the streets.

One might be wondering if the samba dancers really are Finns, but the thing is that there are samba dance schools even in the Arctic region, for instance, in Rovaniemi. The carnival is the opportunity for all schools to show their best moves and dresses. There are expert judges along the route who review the dancers and select the samba champion of Finland.

For more information about Helsinki and Finland, including tips for the sights of Helsinki, food, places that only local people know about, and much more are available in the guidebook The Best of Helsinki.

samba dancers in the city center helsinki. image by arihak.
samba carnival in helsinki, photograph by arihk
Senate Square (Senaatintori).
samba dancers on esplanade, helsinki. photograph credit arihak.