Finland
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Finland
About Finnish society & culture. From snow to sauna, from natives to Nokia.
Curated by Ulla M. Saikku
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Traditions of Finland bring warmth and light

Traditions of Finland bring warmth and light | Finland | Scoop.it

" To understand why the holidays are so important to Finnish families - indeed, to everyone of Scandinavian background - consider the context.

So many of my food memories of Finland are vivid summer ones - freshly smoked salmon, just-picked forest blueberries and moccasin-shaped Karelian pastries, all in a country so close to the Arctic Circle that the estival sun shines until midnight.

In winter, the script is entirely flipped. The freezing temperatures limit food options to meats, cured fish, root vegetables, pickles and preserves. The sea is iced over, so fresh fish - so abundant in the summer - is in short supply. And if snow is late, winter in Finland is an especially dark time. Perhaps that's the reason Scandinavians place such importance on the holiday season inside their homes."

 

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Can’t wait for Finnish Christmas!

Can’t wait for Finnish Christmas! | Finland | Scoop.it
Get into the holiday spirit with thisisFINLAND's Xmas Calendar: xmas.finland.fi

Each calendar window on this map of Finland shows an activity associated with the Finnish Christmas season, from singing Christmas carols to baking gingerbread, not to mention sledding down snow-covered hills and writing letters to Santa Claus. There's even a Christmas sauna, and Finnish Independence Day is also celebrated in December. Join us in getting into the holiday spirit. You'll understand why we can't wait for Christmas to arrive!

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Christmas travel: Chilling with Santa in his Finnish hometown

Christmas travel: Chilling with Santa in his Finnish hometown | Finland | Scoop.it
Tourism heats up for the holidays, and Santa Claus’ village in Rovaniemi, Finland is a great place to see St. Nick and his reindeer.
Ulla M. Saikku's insight:

ROVANIEMI, FINLAND—Two reindeer are grazing in the forest beside the road as we drive into town from the airport.

They might be Santa’s. This is his official hometown, after all. You can find him at his office here any day of the week.

This capital of Finnish Lapland sits at the Arctic Circle a little more than an hour’s flight north of Helsinki. In early December, the days are short: sunrise is about 9 a.m., sunset is about 2 p.m.

But here in the Arctic twilight, things are heating up. Not the temperature — it’s about minus 20C — but the tourism. Even though Santa is here year-round greeting visitors, this time of year is prime time; the pre-Christmas high season.

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Welcome to the most Christmassy places on the planet

Welcome to the most Christmassy places on the planet | Finland | Scoop.it
If your Christmas is too often one of tacky decorations, over-cooked turkey and bitter family feuds, now may be the time to put the baubles back in the attic and plan yourself a yuletide getaway.
Ulla M. Saikku's insight:

If meeting Santa is on your Christmas to-do-list then a trip to Rovaniemi in Finland is a must. The village in Lapland, located just north of the Arctic Circle, has become known as the Christmas HQ -- where kids and adults can make gingerbread cookies with Mrs. Claus or enroll in Elf School.

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FINNISH CHRISTMAS

FINNISH CHRISTMAS | Finland | Scoop.it
It's the morning of 25th here in Helsinki, the Capital of Finland ( don't know where Finland is check this out ) we don't have Christmas on Christmas Day but on Christmas Eve, the 24th.
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!... Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!...

 

Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Music: Nightwish - Walking in the Air
Illustration: © Moomin Characters™

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Walk Finland: Turku: shades and shapes

Walk Finland: Turku: shades and shapes | Finland | Scoop.it

Without snow, Turku is no city of light at this time of the year. Just like the rest of the country... However, the city doesn't give up. When darkness falls, you will see buildings illuminated, as well as fairy lights and Christmas trees that make their statement against the winter weariness.

Turku Cathedral - the oldest part of which dates to 13th century - stands tall. So tall, that it makes the big Xmas tree in front of its stone steps look almost tiny.

Right next to the medieval cathedral there is a lightweight construction that shines through the darkness like a huge lantern.

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December 15th; a DIY Christmas card

December 15th; a DIY Christmas card | Finland | Scoop.it

It's time to send out Christmas cards. I make my own cards every year. The card this year has a deer in snow.

http://signatures.mylivesignature.com/54488/90/FF565266F4F536609F3373C696FA806F.png...

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The chosen one - thisisFINLAND

The chosen one - thisisFINLAND | Finland | Scoop.it

Mid-December is dark and cold in Finland, there are no two ways about it. As the country takes its annual plunge into winter, many Finns find solace in a saint.

White-clad Saint Lucia, borrowed from Catholic and Orthodox churches, wears a striking crown of tall white candles and sings ancient songs to urge people out of their winter doldrums. The main event takes place on December 13.

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Beautiful peony: The Tampere Christmas Market

Beautiful peony: The Tampere Christmas Market | Finland | Scoop.it

 Here are pictures from the Tampere Christmas Market. There was a lot of people, but water and sleet rained a lot...

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Lucia brings light to dark December

Lucia brings light to dark December | Finland | Scoop.it

Tuesday is Santa Lucia Day, the festival of lights. According to tradition, Lucia, a young woman dressed in white and wearing a crown of candles, brings light during the darkest time of the year.

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December 5th; Christmas shopping tour in Helsinki

December 5th; Christmas shopping tour in Helsinki | Finland | Scoop.it
 ...On weekend we walked around town and did some Christmas shopping.
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Christmas lights up the Helsinki night - thisisFINLAND

Christmas lights up the Helsinki night - thisisFINLAND | Finland | Scoop.it
Our holiday slideshow contradicts the idea that the northern winter is a time of lingering darkness. Bring on the light!
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The US Ambassador To Finland Sent A Great Holiday Card

The US Ambassador To Finland Sent A Great Holiday Card | Finland | Scoop.it

The US Ambassador to Finland sent the best Christmas Card. Of course the Finns are known for their love of the sauna, so it's culturally spot on. 
 

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Santa 24/7: Portrait of a Year-Round Father Christmas | LightBox | TIME.com

Santa 24/7: Portrait of a Year-Round Father Christmas | LightBox | TIME.com | Finland | Scoop.it
LightBox presents one photographer's story of a real-life professional Santa.
Ulla M. Saikku's insight:

"Pakkanen is no novelty act: 68 years old, he has been playing the part since 1961 and has an office in downtown Helsinki. What started as a small gig for local Finnish families eventually saw him become the de facto national Father Christmas."

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Proof that Santa Claus exists

Proof that Santa Claus exists | Finland | Scoop.it
DEEP in the Arctic Circle the locals in the capital of Lapland cheer on Father Christmas’s favourite team, FC Santa Claus
Ulla M. Saikku's insight:

CAN you name Father Christmas’s favourite football team?

Snow joke. It’s an easy shout in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, where locals could be forgiven for singing “There’s only two Santa Claus...”

FC Santa Claus is a football club based in the Finnish city tucked inside the Arctic Circle.

This is also where all the letters to Saint Nick from the children of the world are delivered at this time of year.

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{ Finnish Christmas month :: round up } | { Mélanger :: to mix }

{ Finnish Christmas month :: round up } | { Mélanger :: to mix } | Finland | Scoop.it
{ Joulutortut :: Finnish Christmas Stars } For some time I have greedily eyed off these tender butter pastries, simply shaped as a festive star, and dotted with a small kiss of sweet prune filling in the centre.
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Christmas at sea

Christmas at sea | Finland | Scoop.it
Demand for Christmas cruises this year has been high.  For many, Christmas spent at sea is a relaxed and stress-free alternative.  On a passenger cruise liner everything is ready and, naturally, Father Christmas is also on board.
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Beautiful Finland - Finnish Christmas

Beautiful Finland - Finnish Christmas | Finland | Scoop.it

Certain preparations need to take place before Christmas. The Christmas cards are sent, the presents made or bought. The Advent calendar is carefully chosen to please the youngest in the family. Children, and perhaps adults too, write Santa Claus a letter with their wishes for this years presents. In the kitchen the Christmas cookies, pies, casseroles, herring in various sauces and the home made beer are prepared and handily stored until it is Christmas. Before the Christmas tree can be carried in and decorated, the house has to be completely cleaned. You may not forget a single corner, because Joulutonttus, the Christmas elfs, notice really everything...

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Finnish Christmas gnomes are guardians of the home - Vancouver Sun

Finnish Christmas gnomes are guardians of the home - Vancouver Sun | Finland | Scoop.it

My favourite Christmas ornament is a pair of “joulutonttu,” Finnish Christmas gnomes, made out of birch tree fungus. Over 30 years old, the gnomes are showing their age; their hair of lichen is dry and brittle, both are missing a left eye, and their red caps are dusty and faded. In Finnish folklore gnomes were guardians or good spirits that protected homes from misfortune. If you were nice, the gnomes were good to you, but if you were naughty, they might play tricks on you.

Christmas gnomes, the ones in red pointed hats, live in Lapland where, like elves, they help the Finnish Santa Claus...

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Santa Claus Village And Santa Park, Napapiiri In Lapland, Finland - John Giuffo - Forbes

Santa Claus Village And Santa Park, Napapiiri In Lapland, Finland - John Giuffo - Forbes | Finland | Scoop.it

Capitalizing on its extreme northern location at the foot of the Arctic Circle, Napapiiri considers itself Europe’s Christmas capital due to the fact that it is Santa’s "true base of operations." And every year, the town draws thousands of visitors from all over Europe to tour the two different Santa-themed attractions, Santa Claus Village and Santa Park, which offer tours of Santa’s workshops, opportunities to buy some of Santa’s merchandise, encounters with genuine reindeer, and visits with the big man himself. There’s also a Santa-dedicated post office which functions as the European hub for its Indiana counterpart. And when parents begin to feel like they’ve overstayed their welcome with Santa, the nearby city of Rovaniemi provides a wider array of holiday delights.

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St. Lucy (Lucianeito) 2011 is…

St. Lucy (Lucianeito) 2011 is… | Finland | Scoop.it
...Nora Peltola.

Lot's of Swedish was heard today on Senate's square during St. Lucy's day parade.

A larger resolution image in my Google+ page.
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Alternative Christmas gifts on the rise - thisisFINLAND: Christmas special: Modern Christmas

Alternative Christmas gifts on the rise - thisisFINLAND: Christmas special: Modern Christmas | Finland | Scoop.it
Tired of giving friends and family “just more stuff”? Buy gifts in their name for people in need, through a charity.

Instead of buying conventional gifts for friends whose homes are already crammed with stuff, generous but practical Finns are increasingly sending useful or even life-saving gifts to people in need, through charitable schemes.

One such scheme is FinnChurchAid’s Alternative Gifts. “Last year donations totalled 1.4 million euros, with over half coming around Christmastime,” explains coordinator Else Hukkanen.

 

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