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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Municipality  —
Sonkajärven kunta
Sukeva railway station in Sonkajärvi

Coat of arms
Location of Sonkajärvi in Finland
Coordinates: 63°40′N 027°31′E / 63.667°N 27.517°E / 63.667; 27.517Coordinates: 63°40′N 027°31′E / 63.667°N 27.517°E / 63.667; 27.517
Country Finland
Region Northern Savonia
Sub-region Upper Savonia
Charter 1922
 - Municipal manager Simo Mäkinen
Area (2009-01-01)[1]
 - Total 1,576.84 km2 (608.8 sq mi)
 - Land 1,466.21 km2 (566.1 sq mi)
 - Water 110.63 km2 (42.7 sq mi)
Area rank 61st largest in Finland
Population (2009-12-31)[2]
 - Total 4,696
 - Density 3.2/km2 (8.3/sq mi)
Population rank 202nd largest in Finland
Population by native language [3]
 - Finnish 99.6% (official)
 - Swedish 0.1%
 - Others 0.4%
Population by age [4]
 - 0 to 14 14.1%
 - 15 to 64 62.7%
 - 65 or older 23.1%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Municipal tax rate[5] 19.75%

Sonkajärvi is a municipality of Finland.

It is located in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of the Northern Savonia region. The municipality has a population of 4,696 (31 December 2009)[2] and covers an area of 1,576.84 square kilometres (608.82 sq mi) of which 110.63 km2 (42.71 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 3.2 inhabitants per square kilometre (8.3 /sq mi).

The municipality is unilingually Finnish.

Sonkajärvi has gained a worldwide name for Wife Carrying (Finnish: akankanto or eukonkanto) which is a sport of carrying women. The first Wife Carrying World Championship dates to 1994, but the creation of the contest, apart from its humorous aspects, has deep roots in the local history. In the late 1800’s there was in the area a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen, who is said to have accepted in his troops only those men who proved their worth on a challenging track. In those days, it was also a common practice to steal women from the neighbouring villages.

In the Wife Carrying competition each team has one male and one female member, the objective being for the male to carry the female through a special obstacle track. The basic rules are that the woman must be over 17 years of age and have a weight of at least 49 kilograms (110 lb). If she is below that weight, she must be burdened with such a heavy rucksack so that the total weight to be carried by the man is at least 49 kilograms. The only equipment allowed is a belt worn by the carrier. The track in Sonkanjärvi used annually for the World Championship has a length of exactely 253.5 metres (832 ft).

The winning couple in the 2008 edition of the World Championship was Inga Klauson and Madis Uusorg, from Estonia.


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Sonkajärvi [1] is a municipality in the North Savonia region of Eastern Finland.

Get in

Iisalmi is the nearest town of any size, while Kuopio has the closest airport.

Sukeva station on the line between Iisalmi and Kajaani fields a few trains per day.

  • Wife Carrying World Championships (Eukonkanto), [2]. Sonkajärvi's best-known yearly event, this involves husky men carrying their wives across an obstacle-laden track, with the winner taking home the wife's weight in beer. The 2008 event drew competitors from 10 countries and over 5000 spectators. €15.  edit
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