Christmas in Finland

Christmas celebrations - so-called "Pikkujoulu" - are celebrated in the companies and clubs and on the first Advent Advent concerts are held everywhere. A special highlight is St.Nicholas Day on December 6th; this is also a national holiday.

A special feature of the time around Christmas in Finland is that especially the animals are considered. Pets receive their own gifts and the animals in the wild, such as birds, are fed. On December 23rd the Finns decorate their Christmas trees, then in the evening, the typical pre-Christmas dinner is served: oatmeal in which an almond is hidden.

According to an old custom, the one who catches this almond is lucky all the next year. The highlight and most important day of Christmas are 24 December, when the cathedral of the former capital Turku is read out at 12 noon. This has been a tradition in Finland for many centuries and is broadcast in the media nationwide.

In the evening, people traditionally have dinner with the family. But before that, a typical Finnish tradition is followed: of course, the sauna session. In Finland, the gift is already made before dinner. Santa Claus, who according to the Finns lives with his helpers in Lapland, brings the presents and the children sing Christmas carols or perform a dance. Afterward, the usually lavish holiday dinner is served in the family circle. Typical for dinner are fish, potatoes and vegetables.

But the culinary highlight is the Christmas ham, which can be eaten hot or cold. As dessert, a yeast pastry called "Pulla" is usually served, together with a special mulled wine, the "Gögli". On the morning of December 25, a divine service is on the agenda, followed by a celebration with the entire family with another feast. On December 26th, the "Day of St. Stephen", sledging is traditionally driven and celebrated again in dance halls.

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