Reindeer racing championships are held annually around Easter time in small Sami town called Kautokeino, when the snow is still divine. Another famous reindeer race takes place within the Sami Week in Tromsø on the Sunday closest to the Sami National Day that falls on the 6th of February. (In 2019, it will be February 4 thru 10.)

In addition to the championships, an amateur race is also held. Participation in this amusing spectacle is available for all the interested. Volunteers are given a number and a ticket for the race. Whoever has not skied before is advised to race on their butts as it will surely make the race last longer and perhaps some will even manage to pass the finish line.

On Sunday, barriers go down along both sides of the whole of Tromsø’s main street, to create a track for some fast and furious reindeer racing. When the start signal goes, the reindeer burst out of their stalls at the northern end and pound at full speed down the street, pulling their drivers after them on skis. The finishing line is at the southern end.

The event is the Nordic championships, with the 12 fastest reindeer from Norway and Finland on the starting line. There is no distinction between male and female drivers; it’s the fastest reindeer that counts.

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