Finland is the official home to Santa Claus, and you may even meet him in Espoo during the festive season. Christmas celebrations for Finns mean taking it slow and enjoying each other's company. Many stay home to celebrate with the family or head to the countryside or Finnish Lapland, where a cottage for the whole family can be rented. Winter activities such as skiing and sledding help to recover from the festive tables that often include pork roast as the main dish, a variety of fish, casseroles, and salads. Besides, the traditional mulled wine drink – Glögi with gingerbread or so-called 'joulutähdet' (sweet pastries) is presented throughout December when 'pikkujoulu' so-called small Christmas parties occur. To fully recharge one's body and soul during Christmas, a traditional sauna session at the end of the night is a must.
How can you celebrate?
- Have a cup (or two) of traditional mulled wine – Glögi
- Rent a cottage or villa in the countryside for the whole family
- Make Finnish Christmas decorations – Ice lanterns
- Taste Finnish Christmas treats such as gingerbread, so-called Christmas stars 'Joulutähdet' (sweet pastries) or traditional Christmas Eve breakfast – Rice Pudding
- Meet and greet Santa's fluffy helpers – reindeer in Nuuksio Reindeer Park
- Taste the traditional Christmas dishes by joining some of the Christmas Feast events
- Have a traditional Christmas sauna
- Join local Christmas markets and events