Beer Floating

kaljakellunta 2017

Beer Floating

I went to see Beer Floating last week, in the neighbour town.

Now, if you’re not familiar with this event, Beer Floating (Kaljakellunta in Finnish) means gently floating down a river while drinking beer.

Yes, it’s a real thing. We do it every year in Finland (since 1997, anyway). It’s not a festival, more of a flash mob type of thing, in the sense that a date is agreed on (on Facebook, in late July or early August) and anyone can just show up.

The idea is that you need an inflatable dinghy (or one of those inflatable swimming pools for children, or anything that is inflatable and floats) and some cold beer. Then you get to the river and join other people with similar gear and float down the river.

It’s not a contest, so you can take your time. The whole point is to chill, enjoy a nice summer day and good company, maybe make some friends. And, unlike most festivals involving Finns and alcohol, this is a rather sedate affair, meaning nobody gets hammered or drowns.

beer floating

kaljakellunta 2017

beer floating

This was actually the first time I saw the event myself (no, I’ve never participated: can’t swim and don’t drink beer), and I wanted to show you some pictures of the somewhat innovative floating devices.

Unicorns were quite popular this year (I counted at least a dozen), as well as the square swimming pools. However, I also spotted a few hardcore sports dinghies, as well as some DIY contraptions.

Well, it’s anything goes, as long as it floats and can hold at least one person and his/her stash of beer…

beer floating

beer floating 2017

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: Finns are crazy…



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  1. Kelsey
    11 August 2017 / 12:43 am

    Oh that is fabulous! In the US floating the river with a drink or two is fairly common during the summer, but I love how this makes it a special event that brings out lots of people!

    • Tiina L
      12 August 2017 / 11:24 am

      Yes, this is a mass event, and lasts the whole day. We got there quite late in the afternoon, so most of the floaters had already gone. But there were still quite a few people around.

  2. Nancy's Fashion Style
    11 August 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Whaaaaa!!! This is fantastic! Oh my god, I burst into a hard laugh over here! I want to do that too. That looks like so much fun.

    • Tiina L
      12 August 2017 / 11:25 am

      Yes, it was fun, even if we were just watching. You wouldn't believe the kind of contraptions we saw! And some people dressed up for the occasion, too.

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