Moomin is probably the most known and adored Finnish icon, if not before, then right after Santa Claus.
The white, hippo-like Moomins are Finnish literature characters created by the much‐loved Swedish‐speaking Finn, writer and artist Tove Jansson in the 1940’s. After the initial success of the comic strips and books, Moomins grew into a world-wide phenomenon through puppet animations and Japanese-style cartoons. Today the Moomins adorn the wings of Finnair (The Official Airline of Moomins), the iconic mugs of Arabia and high-quality bedding of Finlayson, to name a few.
The Moomins are not only adventuring in literature, animation, and merchandise or in films, music and theatre shows. In Finland, the Moomins have their own hotel rooms like the Naantali Spa Moomin Story and theme parks such as The Moomin World in Naantali. They also have their own Moomin Museum in Tampere and numerous gallery and museum exhibitions around the country every year.
TOVE JANSSON – 100 YEARS IN 2014
Tove Jansson (1914‐2001) is one of the most known Finnish writers and artists. Her city studio was located at Ullanlinnankatu 1 in Helsinki (still marked with a little bronze sign). Tove’s 100‐year anniversary celebrates her lifelong work and art during 2014 with special events and happenings in Finland and abroad.
THE MYSTERIOUS, EVER-SO-IMPORTANT SEA
Jansson and her family spent summers east of Helsinki in the Pellinge islands on the Southern Coast of Finland. She brought some of the situations and characters straight from the creative but harsh island life into the Moomins’. Here Moomin is rescuing his mother from a giant wave.
The small ascetic island of Klovharu lies off the coast of Porvoo in the Pellinge archipelago. This rocky islet in the Gulf of Finland was home to Tove Jansson and her partner Tuulikki Pietilä for almost thirty years.
Lighthouse island of Söderskär
A real “Moomin place” to visit, would be a lighthouse island such as Söderskär. Söderskär especially has been considered by some to be the setting for the book Moominpappa and the Sea.
Söderskär is a lighthouse island about 2 hours’ boat journey away from the Helsinki market place. The place offers plenty of fresh air, island mysticism, creativity and inspiration by the sea. You can take a day‐trip or stay for the night.
Moomin Valley Art Museum in Tampere
The Moomins are ageing with style as only the original works are used in the museum since 2001. The museum’s landmark is a blue five‐storey Moomin House, as creative as ever (not seen here).
Moomins have inspired the Finnish culture as well as designers and crafters alike. The stories of Moomin Valley from the original books follow still today in products and concepts that interest the modern consumers who seek original experiences and things to keep.
Moomin mugs at the Arabia factory in Helsinki
Decorative Moomin ceramics are hand-made at the 140-year old Arabia factory in Helsinki. You can visit the factory and learn from the manufacturing process or even draw your own mug on special days when the factory is open for public.
Winter fun at the Moomin World
The Moomin World is located in Finland’s “sunniest town” of Naantali. The Moomin season starts on the 8 June. The Moomin World is also open in February when kids can do all sorts of snow fun with the Moomins.
The Moomins are part of the Finnish identity inspiring all generations over and over again. A spring day in the archipelago in April with snowy self‐made Moomin.
The article was published for Visit Finland in May 2013: