Pello (until 1949 Turtola) is a Finnish municipality located in the western part of the province of Lapland in the Tornio Valley. Pello is also a village on the Finnish-Swedish border, on both sides of the Tornio River. The Finnish part is the center of the municipality of Pello, the Swedish part belongs to the municipality of Övertorneå. The municipality is home to 3,330 people and covers an area of 1,864.66 km2, of which 126.02 km2 are water bodies. The population density is 1.92 inhabitants / km2. The neighboring municipalities are Kolari, Ylitornio and Rovaniemi on the Finnish side and Övertorneå and Pajala on the Swedish side.

The northern Arctic Circle runs through the southern part of the municipality, near the village of Juokseng.

Two Finnish Prime Ministers have been born in the area of the current municipality of Pello: Kaarlo Castrén and Paavo Lipponen; though the birthplace of both was called Turtola, when Pello was known until 1949.


Culture and traditions

Tornio Valley culture has been given its own color by its flourishing in the territory of the two states. In the peace of Hamina in 1809, the frontier that divided the villages failed to separate families, languages, and coexistence. It is very common for even a Spouse to be sought from a neighbor, i.e. Sweden. This is called cross-marriage (cross = over; cross-border marriage). Every summer, a cross-border wedding party is held in Pello, where the weddings of one Finnish-Swedish couple are celebrated. This celebratory tradition dates back to 1982. Since 2007, this cross-border wedding village party has not been organized as such, but has been organized as a smaller cross-border village party. The reason has been the loss of public interest in the event in question, as well as the finding of an intermarriage wedding couple.

After the wars, during the regulation of construction and food, the river valley flourished. Dropping means smuggling, in this case specifically from Sweden to Finland. Thanks in part to joping and in part to legal imports, building materials were better available on the western border than in other parts of Lapland, and the Tornio Valley was rebuilt faster than in the rest of the province. There are many stories of clashes between junkers and customs officers (customs greyhounds). Inspired by these, in 2004 the Joppa Opera, composed by Kaj Chydenius and written by Bengt Pohjanen, was performed for the first time. The roles included Kai Hyttinen.