Finland is a Nordic democracy and a member of the European Union. In terms of area, Finland is the seventh largest country in Europe but it has a very low population density. The population of Finland is 5.5 million. The capital of the country is Helsinki, and we have two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. The currency used in Finland is the euro.
Forests cover over two thirds of the country. Finland is also a land of a thousand lakes and water covers 10% of the land. Finland is a land of four distinct seasons.
During the summer, the highest daytime temperature in eastern Finland occasionally rises over 25°C (degrees Celsius). During the winter months, particularly in January and February, temperatures of minus 20°C are common. Even if the temperatures in the winter can seem harsh, Finland has a much milder climate than other areas in similar latitudes. This is due to the many lakes, the Baltic Sea and the airflows from the Atlantic Ocean warmed by the Gulf Stream.
In the summer, there is daylight almost around the clock whereas in the winter there are only a few hours of daylight. In the autumn, the first snow often settles in November and the landscape will often be covered in snow in December. The first signs of spring can be seen in March and the snow gradually starts melting away in April.
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