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Every June in Petrozavodsk teams from all over Karelia meet to take part in the Republican Festival of folk game kyykka “Karelian towns”. Our students also played this game, they did not become champions, but maybe next time…Who knows?

Students from Spain, South Africa and UK play kyukuka

Kyykka is an old folk Karelian game that was very popular in Karelian and also Finnish villages. It’s interesting that you can play this game in a team as well as alone.

Kyukyka is an old folk sport

What do you need to play “Karelian Towns”?

Kyykka is played on a grave field, which should be as smooth as possible. Playground is separated into two squares (fileds) of 5 and 5 meters size and a 10-meter space between them. Every fields is “a town”. To play this game you will need:a bat that is called “pualikka” and chocks – ” ryukhi”. The goal is to beat out the ryukhi (wooden choks) standing in the playground with bats, for every beaten ryukhi a team earns points.

students in Petrozavodsk play karelian game


For almost two centuries of the game’s existence, the rules have hardly changed. The winner is the team that knocks out as many wooden chocks as possible.
Ryukhi are placed on the playing field “town”. It’s necessary to make to 10 columns from 20 ryukhi, one chock is placed on another. The distance between ryukhi about 12-15 cm. Every player has two chances and throws 2 times 2 bats. 
Due to the rules there are different distances. Children under 15 yo throw a bat from 6 meters, women and people over 70 yo throw a bat from 8 meters, men from 10.  A ryukha will be considered to be knocked down if it is knocked out of a 5-by-5-meter platform outside the field. One point is given for one ryukha. It is forbidden to  step over the line of throw, otherwise the points are not counted.

Traditionally  players of the defeated team roll the winners on their backs around the pitch.
Come to Petrozavodsk, join our courses and play with us!