Autumn in Finland: Ruska and its colors galore

Updated: 3 days ago

September is here, yet again. As we reluctantly bid farewell to the long bright days of summer, we look forward to autumn, the season when the magic occurs in nature and the leaves turn into elegant, flaming colors of red, purple, orange, yellow, and brown. This seasonal quick transition from summer to autumn is a perfect example that changes can be amazing.

In the Finnish language, this stunning phenomenon that paints northern landscapes in deep and soft tones is called ‘ruska’.

What is ruska?

Ruska comes from the Sami word “ruškat”, and close to the Finnish word ruskea which means brown. This refers to the time of the year when the spectacular natural phenomena of the autumn foliage happen, or when leaves change colors and the trees get ready for winter.

There are two different types of ruska; puuruska and maaruska. In Finnish language, puu means tree, therefore puuruska refers to the leaves of the trees changing to different colors. Maa means land, ground, or soil; so maaruska, when translated to English, means bushes and plants of the ground changing their colors. The maaruska is especially beautiful to see in blueberry bushes at the forest. The colors are very bright and intense, creating the perfect spot for that perfec