What You May Not Know About Rudolph and Reindeers

I thought I knew about Rudolph. I mean after all, I’ve been singing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer every year since before kindergarten! Today I learned a few things Rudolph and about reindeer I didn’t know and just maybe you don’t know either!

Racing Reindeer

I’m from Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby. I’ve watched horses run at Churchill Downs and Keeneland and loved the excitement and intensity of the races. What I didn’t know was that reindeer race too!

When reindeer race the driver doesn’t saddle up, instead they put on skis and hold onto the reins and off they go. I don’t see how in the world they hang on! I know my nose would be planted and plowing up the snow. This is from YouTube of two reindeer racing in Norway.

Finland Reindeer Racing

In Finland King of Reindeer race event is held every year in Inari, which is about 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle. (Can you say, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” ) It’s held at the beginning of April, (still time to get tickets Nanas!) when Lapland’s forests and lakes are still covered with a thick blanket of snow and ice.

This annual event is one of the highlights of the year for reindeer herders from all over Lapland, and for the village of Inari. More than 1,000 people come to watch the races every year and almost 200 reindeer are brought to this small village to run in three different levels of racing competitions. They have a general category for beginners, then a “hot” category, and finally, the King of Reindeer category.

I know which category I would be in should I choose to go. Wonder if they have ever had a racing Nana enter the contest?

Norway Reindeer Racing

One of the most thrilling of the reindeer races is likely the one in Tromsø, Norway, where skiers cling to harnesses behind what are supposedly “fastest reindeers in Norway.” The races take place right in the center of the city as part of Sami National Day in February, which is a celebration of the Sami people who are indigenous to Norway and for whom the reindeer is a source of fur, transportation, meat, and cultural pride.

Read that last sentence again. Notice the word, “meat.” That’s right. If they aren’t racing reindeer they may end up in the meat counter at the local super market.

Poronkäristys (Sautéed Reindeer), Mashed Potatoes and Cranberries

According to the web sites I read this is one of the favorite ways of cooking reindeer. You can even get it in a t.v. dinner. What’s this world coming to? Rudolph in a t.v. dinner.

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Rudolph the Song

By the way, if you want to know more about Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer there’s a few things I didn’t know about him either. Like, before it was a song it was a book and the man who wrote it had a pretty rough life until Rudolph became a song and it was picked up by Gene Autrey. But that’s a whole other story and one you can read about here.

If you are curious and want to know more about reindeer racing you can read about it here.

If you just want to look at a reindeer and admire their beauty, well you can do that here.

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And since it’s almost Christmas I just gotta say it…….

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Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history!

And he did!

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