Everyone knows Santa Claus comes from Finland, but there’s more to a traditional Finnish Christmas than Saint Nick and the presents he brings. During the festive season, Finns like to take things slow and enjoy the company of loved ones.
The natural atmosphere is a key element for a true Finnish Christmas. White landscapes enshrouded in darkness, only lit by the stars in the sky and ice lanterns on driveways set the mood for a soothingly cosy festive season. As for most, Christmas preparations in Finland start by deciding where to spend it. The family home is often preferred, but occasionally some jazzing up is in order and a villa or a cottage might be rented in the countryside. Obviously, food plays a central part in Christmas celebrations in Finland, too. Pork roast is the main dish in most households and a variety of fish, casseroles and salads are served with it. The most authentic Christmas Eve breakfast is rice pudding. After a couple of Christmas ales, carols are sung with gusto. At the end of the night a Christmas sauna relaxes both body and soul.
Sweet pastries, cakes and biscuits are Finnish Christmas standards loved by people of all ages. Ginger biscuits and chocolates are the standard sweet snacks on Christmas.
“Glögi”, a type of mulled wine, is a favoured hot drink at Christmas time.
Set the Mood
Ice lanterns are a popular way of lighting up the wintry darkness.
Come and Greet
Finland is where Santa lives. Why don’t you pay him a return visit for all those times he came to your house?
In Finland, Christmas Eve is the main event of the holidays, and the night Santa comes. It is spent with the family, decorating the tree, drinking “glögi” (mulled wine) and doing the quintessential Finnish thing, bathing in a Christmas sauna. A visit to Christmas Mass at midnight is customary for many.
While quiet and relaxing quality time with close relatives is preferred on Christmas Eve, visiting friends and eating leftovers is the thing to do on Christmas Day. Partying steps into the picture on Boxing Day, and many like to head out to bars and clubs in high Christmas spirits.
warmth and friendship
An old wooden sauna surrounded by white snow and warm candle light, shared with friends and family – what more could you want from your Christmas Eve?
We all have problem pigs in our lives, nasty little things that make us angry, tired or stressed out. But no problem, here’s a perfect retreat. The Finnish winter calms down even the world’s angriest birds, so it will surely work for you too.
Take a look at the geographical shape of Finland and you’ll see why people call her “The Finnish Maiden”. At the tip of her thumb is the only part of the country where peaks rise 1,000 metres above sea level. Nestled in those peaks you will find a tiny village called Kilpisjärvi, home to roughly a hundred year-round residents.
One of them is 25-year-old snowmobile guide Jussi Rauhala.