Winter already?

So winter is officially here. Autumn in Rovaniemi really was a beautiful experience though short-lived. It was amazing to see everything change so drastically in such a short space of time, where walking through Ounasvaara became different everyday - the leaves were a thousand colours, from red to orange, to yellow, to brown...but alas, the winter that Lapland is so renowned for is upon us and to celebrate we all walked down to the riverside for the riverlights or jokivalkeat as they were better known here. This was on November 6th, a day after Bonfire Night in England. I was a bit sad to be missing Bonfire Night, originally a celebration of the execution of Guy Fawkes who had conspired to assasinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch by blowing up the Houses of Parliament, is now an excuse to eat as much candy floss and toffee apples as you can at the local fair, consequently almost being sick on the rides and of course the fireworks display - always a fun night. So it was good to see something along the same lines (kind of) the following night. The theme at the riverside was that of fire sculptures and paper lanterns shaped to look like fishing flies, nets and tools etc by local students and pupils at high school. Each sculpture was individually lit, although viewing them from the side I couldn't quite decipher the supposed image, and of course not knowing the first thing when it comes to fishing really didn't help either. Nevertheless, it was still interesting to see and I was surprised at the number of people who had turned up for it.

So, now that the temperature's plummeting I finally decided to purchase a "winter jacket" only to realise it's neither wind nor waterproof...let's hope it does the job. But before it got too cold I decided to return to England for just over a week. Everyone asks the same questions and cracks the "So how cold is it?" line but it was really great to see them all again. Having six other siblings means it can be difficult seeing us altogether at one time, which is why coming home for Eid (an Islamic festival) is a must, and let's not forget eating my body weight in my mum's cooking. Being used to home-made South Asian food with all the different spices and masala means that Finnish food can take some adapting to. It was definitely strange going back home after having spent 4 months in a different country and becoming accustomed to its culture but I'm sure there are still many more things to learn out here!


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