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The Legend of Saana Fell in Kilpisjärvi, Finland. Retold

This is my own interpretation of the legend of Saana Fell, I do not own any rights to the original story.

The legend of Saana Fell in Kilpisjärvi, Finland. Retold.

Our story starts a very long time ago in the village of Kilpisjärvi in Northern Finland, which was populated by giants at that time.

As she heard her mother’s footsteps approaching, Malla looked up from her work. Big Malla appeared at the doorway connecting the garden to the house. “Pältsä is here again.” She announced. “He wants to see you. He brought another gift…” She added. Big Malla and her daughter shared a very non-amused facial expression. Pältsä had been a very persistent suitor for Malla’s hand. He came from a rich family and was used to getting what he wanted. Malla got up and headed for the front door. There stood Pältsä, smiling smugly with a small package in his hands. “Good afternoon beautiful Malla!” He said. “I accidentally came across this small thingy and it made me think about you that much that I just had to give it to you.” Pältsä said while handing over the gift to Malla. While she was opening it, Big Malla appeared next to her daughter in the doorway. They looked so much alike. They did not only share the same pretty round face, but also the same friendly character. Ever since Malla’s father disappeared, there became very close. You could feel their shared energy lingering in the air whenever they were together. The package contained a small bottle filled with the brightest purple and green lights. Big Malla directly recognized the enormous value of the gift. It was a very rare gem and certainly not found accidentally. “Pältsä, we can’t accept this, this is much too valuable!” Big Malla said. “I insist!” Pältsä answered.

“We can’t let this go any further!” Big Malla said during dinner that evening. “We can’t risk his family getting offended by refusing Pältsä’s hand after all these valuable gifts.” She added worried. Malla smiled. She was so happy that her mother supported her in her choice. She was in love with Saana, sullen Saana, one of the biggest giants of the village. Although he wasn’t as rich, arrogant and influential as Pältsä, he had a much friendlier, kind and brave nature. “Saana wants to go to see Paras later this week to ask for his approval.” Malla answered. Paras was the magician and spiritual leader of the giant’s village of Kilpisjärvi. “Very good!” Big Malla smiled proudly.

Paras approved of the engagement between Saana and Malla without hesitation, as he saw there was only goodness in their shared energy. “We will hold the wedding ceremony this Saturday!” He announced to the village. The whole village of Kilpisjärvi immediately began the preparation with great joy, as both Saana, Malla and their families were well liked by all of them. News of the upcoming wedding also reached the ears of Pältsä. Full of resentment he went to his mother. She was insulted greatly that Malla would pick a poor herder over her rich and promising son. Mother and son went to see the bad and powerful elderly witch of Lapland; to whom they were acquainted. She was very eager to help Pältsä and his mother, as she was banned from Kilpisjärvi by Paras.

On the day of the wedding the whole village was decorated with the autumn colours. All the guest wore their finest garments made from the orange and red trees. But Malla and Saana were the most beautiful, as their aura shone with love and prospect. Paras was leading the ceremony. Suddenly a cold wind made them all shiver. The evil elderly witch appeared with Pältsä and his mother in her wake. Before anyone could even blink, she casted a spell of ice straight into Saana’s chest. In his last second, Saana pushed his Malla back into her mother’s arms to protect her from the spell’s heaviest impact. In this same second, the magician Paras casted a protection spell over all. But for Saana it was too late. He turned into ice before Paras spell reached him. To protect his people, Paras turned them all into stone, for stone could not be killed by ice. Malla cried and cried, even after turned to stone.

Her tears formed the lake of Kilpisjärvi. Up until today you can see the lake surrounded by the stone giants. Protecting the village for all eternity.

The end.


I wanted to retell this legend after hiking around the lake in Kilpisjärvi, where you can still feel the presence of the mountains. Read the story here.



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