In order to understand Finnish mentality, you need to bear in mind that the Finnish winter tends to be rather dark and long. In December we only get a couple of hours of sunlight in the south, none in the north. In February and March something significant happens: the day slowly begins to be a little bit longer and occasionally we get incredibly gorgeous, sunny winter days.

Along with the sun, out come the Finns. The sun makes us look at people’s faces instead of our toes, it makes us storm out from our homes and it fills all outdoor recreational ares, outdoor cafes, walkways, paths and even the sea: both in water and on ice, with people. A bathrobe is an entirely appropriate and acceptable piece of clothing in the busiest seaside area of Espoo, next to a popular cafe.

Sunny days can even make us stress. Especially if on that gorgeous day for some reason you are not able to go and enjoy the weather outdoors. Or if you are, you tend to stress whether you really are able to make the most of it as who knows when the next sunny day will be. That’s how important sun is to us. It’s a bit like sweets: if you have them every day they no longer taste as good. But the first sunny days in late winter / early spring truly boost our energy levels and it’s unbelievable to what extent.

Oh and I need to mention one more thing: generally March is the month when you begin to see the first people in shorts, even though the temperatures mostly still remain below zero. Yes, that’s a piece of Finnish mentality for ya. So have you spotted the first Finn in shorts yet?

These photos were taken at Café Merenneito (Mermaid in Finnish) in Espoo, Southern Finland. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a pretty day outdoors, go for a walk on the seaside and have a cup of coffee with a proper cinnamon bun (korvapuusti).