I think a small part of me wasn’t quite sure reindeer were real until we visited Napapiirin Porofarmi Reindeer Farm. The farm’s reindeer are friendly and come up for a cuddle, which I enjoyed immensely, as their horns feel amazing – like the softest velvet. Lappish people are completely used to seeing reindeer wandering around in the forests, but for me it was like getting to pat a unicorn. Amazing.
Reindeer husbandry is a long and important tradition in northern Finland, where the Sami people keep the animals for food, pelts and reindeer racing. Reindeer horns are displayed proudly above the fireplace in most homes, and even tell children’s stories and legends about the animals, crucial to their survival for so many generations.