Friday, November 20, 2009

Keski-Suomen viides vuodenaika - The fifth season of Central Finland

A little more than a week ago, my adopted hometown looked like this:

There was plenty of snow and the temperatures were comfortably below freezing. The air was crisp and dry. Humidity was virtually nonexistent.

My friends and I discussed how great it would be if the weather would remain as such. After having spent several winters here however, I realized that this was not to be the case. I knew for sure that soon the dreaded fifth season would be upon us.

The fifth season has no name. It is the time of year that comes between fall and winter. Some years the fifth season can last from the end of November to well beyond Christmas.

The fifth season is characterized by lack of sunlight, abundance of rain, and an ever-present dampness that chills to the bone.

There are many ways to cope with the fifth season. Some indulge in hot beverages, with or without a bit of alcohol. A weekly trip to the local swimming hall has been known to help. Sauna offers a temporary respite from the cold.

A side note: Would the reader who sent me an email the other day please send it again? Thanks to my magnificent IT skills I managed to delete it before I was able to read the whole message.


  1. I hate that season. thankfuly this far north we don't see it often. this year winter started last month and has stayed.

  2. So that's how you call it: the fifth season. I can tell I really hate that one.

  3. Next year I'll be back UP where the fifth season is 'deer'.

  4. I hate this weather, really hate it. This is the part of they year that really brings depression.

  5. To be perfectly honest, I have never heard of this wacky weather referred to as the "5th season" before, but as a Minnesotan of Finnish descent, I understand perfectly. To me, this weird 5th season we are experiencing is basically a grace period to get our snow and ski gear in order.

    Question: does this mean winter is actually the 1st season rather than the last?

    oh the implications...

  6. I don't think this is a common term. I picked it up from my buddy J. who uses it rather sarcastically.

    I've always considered winter to be the first season out of the four.

  7. I like this time of year. For me it’s the last chance to see outside before I go “hibernate” until end of April. For someone who spent most of his life under temperatures never below +25C, and usually around +40C, I still have a “little” problem with the freezing cold -20C Finnish winter. For me winter is time to be inside...