Christmas is the most important celebration of the year in Finland - Santa Claus brings the presents


 


Merry Christmas from Finland!

For Finns the Christmas is the most important celebration of the year. Families gather together and celebrate Christmas Eve.

In the old town of Turku, the former capital of Finland, a special ceremony is held to declare the beginning of Christmas peace period, starting at 12 o'clock noon on Christmas Eve and lasting for twenty days. The citizens are wished a merry Christmas and prompted to spend the Christmas time peacefully, avoiding noisy and rowdy behavior.


Children watch the animation Snowman in television and wait Santa Claus. Actually Santa Claus speaks and reads Children's letters on television in the morning.

The Christmas Eve many people visit cemeteries and light candles on the graves of their relatives. The cemeteries look like a sea of candles on white snow, if there is snow. In Helsinki there is no snow just now.

Sauna is important for Finns and the Christmas sauna is a special tradition. The sauna has a purifying effect for body and soul.

After Sauna Finns will have the Christmas dinner: leg of pork, casseroles, cured salmon, perhaps turkey. Rice pudding can be served in the morning or as a desert. One almond is hidden in the pudding. The finder will be lucky next year.

The most important moment for children is when Santa Claus arrives from Lapland. his home is  in the place called Korvatunturi. Santa Claus travels with a reindeer to bring presents for children. Santa Caluas ask from children if they have been nice and hard working. The answer is yes, of course. Children will also sing to Santa and wish a very merry Christmas!



Photos: Sirpa Pääkkönen

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