TreeHugging World Championships 2021

For a year and a half the world has been suffering from a serious lack of cuddles. However, we can all hug trees – it is good for us mentally and physically. And we can all use some more fun and play in our lives!
August 21st 2021 will kick off the world’s second-ever TreeHugging World Championships. Join the fun by following the Live broadcast from our forest and take part in the virtual competition by sending in your best treehugging picture! Follow hashtags #TreeHugging2021 and #HaliPuu
Happy hugging 🌲🤗🌳

 

Live TreeHugging event August 21st

Since traveling and events are still restricted, this year’s live event (just like last year’s) will be Invitation-only. But everyone can watch and comment live via Happs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch (the exact link will be posted here closer to the date).
We have a wonderful lineup of eager TreeHuggers to represent their home countries. They are all currently residents of Levi, so no travel will be involved. Some are familiar from last year, some are showing their skills for the first time but all of them have their hugging arms warmed up and ready. This years participants are representing for instance Spain, Russia, US, Switzerland and Ukraine – we are looking forward to unique styles and techniques!

Our expert judges are also seasoned forest specialists:

  • HaliPuu-Pappa Kaarle Raekallio, the owner of HaliPuu forest, a retired lumberjack that decided to save his forest for everyone to enjoy. Dad has made his living from the forest since he was 12 years old.
  • Ritva Saarensalmi, senior adviser at Pallas-Yllästunturi nationalpark, who’s work – and heart – revolve around protecting biodiversity. “ There is no right or wrong way to hug a tree.” says Ritva. “What is important is respect, realizing that the tree is a living being one should treat well – just like our loved ones “
  • Heikki Hamunen, a forest owner, freelance journalist and media entrepreneur, who among other things has written the first Finnish language guide to trail running. He lives in North Karelia, the easternmost area of Finland, surrounded by forest, which is his natural environment, both for work and for free time activities.

Join the online TreeHugging contest and WIN!

Everybody around the world is invited to take part in the online TreeHugging World Championships – who knows, you might even be joining us in person next year. Taking part is simple:
1. Find your favorite tree, hug it (or have someone hug it for you) and capture the hug in a picture.
2. Record the coordinates of the tree. You can do this for instance with the compass-function of most phones.
3. Describe why you love this particular tree, or tree hugging in general.
4. Upload your picture, along with its coordinates and the description in the box below (you will need to register as a member on our site to see the box) OR post it on Instagram with both hashtags #TreeHugging2021 and #HaliPuu OR send it to us by e-mail at info(at)halipuu.com by 11AM CET, Saturday 28th of August 2021

The Prizes:

The winner of online TreeHugging World Championships 2021 will be invited to join the live competition of 2022 in HaliPuu forest, Levi, Finland. They will receive the train trips for two, including a sleeping cabin, Helsinki-Rovaniemi-Helsinki (courtesy of VR), one-week stay for two in Levi  (courtesy of Visit Levi) and a private cocooning trip for two with us here in the HaliPuu forest, all during TreeHugging2022 next year.

Meet the winners of TreeHugging World Championships 2020

In August 2020 we celebrated the first ever TreeHugging World Champions, both live here in our forest as well as virtually around the globe.

Here are the winners.

Stefania from Italy won the live Championships in our forest. We had 10 competitors from 10 different countries (because of the Covid-situation all are residents of our village and nobody had to fly in) competing in 3 different treehugging events; speed hugging, dedication and freestyle. The judges had a real hard time picking the winner since all 10 competitors gave their heart and soul to their performance. However, according to the judges Stefania’s way of encountering the trees was “convincingly caring and insightfully profound”. Watch a recording of the event HERE

The online competition was won by Irina from Moscow. Again, the judges had a hard time since there were a lot of touching, fun and creative entries. Well over a hundred pictures were sent in, but not all of them had coordinates of the tree included. The winning picture ”encompassed sheer joy and warmth that exhibited a deep love for nature”. For her winning entry, Irina received a one-week stay in Levi during TreeHugging2021 next year and a private cocooning trip in the HaliPuu -forest.

All of the hugging pictures have now been added on the World Map of Trees in our HaliPuu – Forest in your pocket -phone app, so you will be able to explore everyone’s entries by location. Download the app here: PLAYSTORE or APPSTORE. Besides the map, the app includes stories from the forest, bite sized forest experiences and more.

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