How do the Finns celebrate Christmas?
Everyone knows Santa Claus comes from Finland, but there’s more to a traditional Finnish Christmas than Saint Nick and presents. During the festive season, Finns like to take things slow and enjoy the company of loved ones – with a side of mulled wine and sauna.
White landscapes shrouded in darkness, lit only by stars in the sky and ice lanterns on driveways, set the mood for a cosy festive season. For most, Christmas preparations in Finland start by deciding where to spend it. At home with family is a common choice, but some families rent a cottage or villa in the countryside.
Food also plays a central part in Finland’s Christmas celebrations. Pork roast is the main dish in most households and it’s served with a variety of fish, casseroles and salads. The traditional Christmas Eve breakfast is rice pudding. Later, after a couple Christmas ales, carols are sung with gusto. At the end of the night, a warm Christmas sauna relaxes one’s body and soul.