Jokkmokk Winter Market
Lonely Planet review
This is the oldest and biggest of its kind, attracting some 30,000 people annually – going strong since 1605 when King Karl XI decreed that markets should be set up in Lappland to increase taxes, spread Christianity and exert greater control over the nomadic Sámi. It’s the biggest sales opportunity of the year for Sámi traders who come to make contacts and see old friends, while the visitors can splurge on the widest array of Sámi duodji (handicraft) in the country. The Winter Market itself is held on the first Thursday through Saturday in February and is preceded by the opening of thesmaller Historical Market and several days of folk music, plays, parades, local cinematography, photography exhibitions, food tasting sessions and talks on different aspectsof Sámi life, all of which merge seamlessly into the Winter Market itself. Highlights include the merry chaos of the reindeer races on the frozen LakeTalvatissjön behind Hotell Jokkmokk, with unruly reindeer veering off the track and scattering the spectators.