How do we celebrate Christmas in Finland?
What does mean Christmas for Finnish people?
Christmas is very important and traditional celebration. Christmas is also a peaceful time when we try to put aside our daily concerns and we want to spend time within our family or with our closest friends. The day prior Christmas, a declaration of peace is read in Turku, the old capital of Finland. At 12h00 many habitants of Turku are gathering in front of the city hall with their family and friends to listen to the speech. Many Finns are also watching it on tv as it is broadcasting in live.
Each family have their own Christmas traditions like eating Christmas porridge where an almond was put inside (if you get the almond, it will bring you luck), having Christmas dinner, Santa Claus coming to visit families, Christmas sauna and nowadays a relaxing Christmas bath in a hot tub.
Finns are not very religious but at Christmas, churches are full. Beautiful Christmas songs (religious or secular) are singing in churches cheering up the atmosphere. And outside the church reign a magical feeling where candles illuminate the graves giving warmth and light and bringing the memories of our loved ones.
For Finnish people Christmas means also providing support for less-favored, feeding birds and forest animal and help them going through the winter. We wish to create a peaceful but joyful Christmas with a lot of happiness.
A Finnish Christmas through the eyes of a French man.
Christmas is almost here, and it is a special event in the country of Santa Claus especially from a foreigner point of view. What I like the most is the possibility to have a white Christmas, this year we are lucky to have already some snow even in the south of Finland (sometimes we don't have it in December) and hopefully it will hold until Christmas eve. The snow brings the magic to Christmas and also some lights to those dark days of December. The second thing I like is the fact there are no Christmas rush (Finns people might have a different opinion) but coming from Paris It is peaceful and enjoyable. Then there are many happenings for Christmas, I usually visit the Christmas market in the old city of Turku, drink some mulled wine and go listening some Christmas songs in one of the local church.
Christmas Eve is also different from what I was used to in France. The celebration is starting earlier in the afternoon already, it is happening in a convivial and relaxing atmosphere. The main dish of the dinner is the huge, delicious traditional Christmas ham. Also, another great thing about spending his Christmas in Finland is the visit of Santa directly to your home and bringing the presents to the children. Often you have the possibility to relax in the Christmas sauna or spend a delightful time in one of the Kirami's hot tub.
I would describe the Finnish Christmas as maybe less formal than in France but super friendly and convivial.
The entire team of Kirami wish a merry to all of you!