Today's post (and the next two guest posts for that matter) brings us to Scandinavia, namely to Finland - the home country of Santa! Eva is here today to tell us all about Christmas in what is probably the most christmassy country ever!
Greetings to all the readers at Snow in Tromsø! I’m Eva and I blog about Finnish culture from an American perspective, as well as music and travel over at magellan & pan.
I’m a musician who moved to Finland to play in an orchestra in July 2013. I often get asked “Finland? Really? Why?” Well the music scene is top notch here, and as I’d like to think I have an adventurous spirit - I was eager to move abroad and dive into a land of new experiences
Joulupukki & Santa Claus Village
So apparently the modern “Santa Claus” is a combination of a lot of European folklore, but what you really need to know is that Santa is real and he lives in Finland. He is called “joulupukki” here, which translates literally to “Christmas Goat.” I stopped believing in Santa at the ripe age of five, but I have had a “believing” renaissance since I met him two summers ago.
If you want to meet him too, all you have to do is visit the city of Rovaniemi, which is just on the border of the Arctic Circle in Finland. Just outside Rovaniemi is the Santa Claus Village, where you can line up to meet the real Santa. My father and I visited him in the middle of July, so we breezed right through the line and got to sit and chat with Santa for awhile. He told me to meet a good Finnish man, get married and stay in Finland forever. :)
In December the Santa Claus Village is bustling with tourists and I’m sure it’s more festive with lots of snow and Christmas cheer, but I would really recommend going any time of the year! Santa is almost always there! He also tours around the world a little bit, and he actually lives with his wife in Korvatunturi which is much farther north than Rovaniemi (though not as far north as Tromsø!)