Finland officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Norway to the north, Sweden to the west and Russia to the east, while Estonia lies to the south across the Gulf of Finland.
The Capital and largest city of this country is Helsinki. Other larger cities include Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio.
Christmas Celebrations in Finland :
Christmas traditions in Finland are centered on the home and family. The sense of warmth of the family home and the merriment of the season are accentuated amidst the harsh reality of a far north winter. Finland is the home of Santa, and every Finnish child knows that Santa lives on the Mountain of Korvatunturi in the town of Savukoski. This town is in the northern section of Finland called Lapland. In Finland the Christmas tree is set up on Christmas Eve. Apples and other fruits, candies, paper flags, cotton and tinsel are used as decorations, and candles are used for lighting it.
By 24th morning, the children are all awash with excitement for they know that Finland is the first country on the list of Santa’s stops. As a matter of fact, he stops there on Christmas Eve with gifts for every one. Finnish families celebrate St. Lucia’s Day, as do most of the Scandinavian countries. The celebration of Christmas occurs from December 24th to the 26th. Several weeks before hand, during the advent season, homes are prepared, cookies are baked, and decorations are made ready.
The standard fare for a Christmas eve breakfast is rice pudding. Thick and Creamy, it is served hot and topped with cinnamon, sugar and other spices. What a yummy way to serve a hot meal that will warm them throughout their morning excursions. Papa and the children will go and get the tree. With a bit of shopping left to be done, Mama heads to the market early for all the stores will close at noon.
The main dish of the dinner is boiled codfish served snowy white and fluffy, with allspice, boiled potatoes, and cream sauce. The dried cod has been soaked for a week in a lye solution, then in clear water to soften it to the right texture. Also on the menu is roast suckling pig or a roasted fresh ham, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. Christmas Day services in the churches begin at six in the morning. It is a day for family visits and reunions.
In Finnish Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Hyvää Joulua’.
Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!