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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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Photographing by Santa's Rules

Photographing by Santa's Rules | Finland | Scoop.it
A Finnish photographer met a man so devoted to his job of impersonating Santa Claus that he couldn’t resist following him around, documenting a real-life fairy tale character on the clock.
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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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Santa Claus Village attracts record number of visitors

Santa Claus Village attracts record number of visitors | Finland | Scoop.it
A record number of visitors have attended the Santa Claus Village at Rovaniemi
on the Arctic Circle this year. The number of visitors is expected to top
the 330,000 mark for the first time.
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A new home for Santa Claus goes up near Saariselkä in Finnish Lapland - Helsingin Sanomat

A new home for Santa Claus goes up near Saariselkä in Finnish Lapland - Helsingin Sanomat | Finland | Scoop.it

In addition to the Christmas Land located on the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, another "Santa Claus Land" has been opened near Saariselkä, the European Union’s northernmost holiday resort in Finnish Lapland .
In a village near the municipality of Kakslauttanen, where a log building of 1,150 square metres and 16 other buildings have gone up, Santa Claus - alias Father Christmas - will receive mainly foreign tourist groups and children.

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Joulupukki | Finugor – Finnish Santa

Joulupukki | Finugor – Finnish Santa | Finland | Scoop.it

Joulupukki is the Finnish name for Santa Claus or Father Christmas. The name Joulupukki literally means Yule Goat or Christmas Goat. This name is likely to come from an old Finnish tradition, where people dressed in goat hides, the apparition being called a nuuttipukki, used to go around from house to house after Christmas eating leftover food.

Today Joulupukki looks and behaves mostly like his American version, but there are differences. Joulupukki’s workshop is situated in Korvatunturi, whereas the American counterpart resides in Greenland. Instead of sneaking in through the chimney during the night, he (traditionally played by a father, a grandfather or an uncle, today by a Rent-a-Santa) knocks on the front door during the Christmas eve celebration. When he comes in, his first words are traditionally “Onkos täällä kilttejä lapsia?” (Are there (any) nice children here?)

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Dreaming of You Rovaniemi - The Official Hometown of Santa Claus

Rovaniemi is the Official Hometown of Santa Claus and it is situated at the northern Arctic Circle, in Lapland, Finland. Rovaniemi is a place where reality and fairytales meet on the border of the Arctic. Every season in Rovaniemi is an unforgettable experience: the never-ending summertime sunshine, the twilight period leading up to Christmas, and the springtime snowscapes glistening like fields of diamonds. Christmas in Rovaniemi is everlasting. Santa Claus is the friend of the world's children -- and friends are always welcome. Visit Santa any day you please and experience Christmas in the middle of summer. Surrounded by wintry, dusky forests, the Arctic Circle is a lifetime experience for visitors young and old. This is precisely why half a million people travel to meet Santa Claus every year.
www.visitrovaniemi.fi ...
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Lapland: Finland's snowy adrenaline-pumping action, sans Santa - TNT Magazine

Lapland: Finland's snowy adrenaline-pumping action, sans Santa - TNT Magazine | Finland | Scoop.it

Say Lapland, and all you hear is Santa, Santa, Santa. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s all family breaks and overcharging for children to sit on a stranger’s knee. But whether it’s before Christmas or after Mr Claus hangs up his red suit for the year, there’s far more to discover in northernmost Finland. And most of it’s guaranteed to get your pulse racing.

Which is why I rock up to Lapland with one thing in mind: action. I’ve got a tick-list of things to try: there’s adrenaline-fuelled snowmobiling through the countryside, ice karting – think kamikaze go-karting – plus skiing and snowboarding on the guaranteed powder between November and April.

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Lapland: take the reins on a visit to Santa's Finnish grotto

Lapland: take the reins on a visit to Santa's Finnish grotto | Finland | Scoop.it

Who's this Santa bloke my children never tire of telling me about at this time of the year?

I mean, I don't see him doing a lot around the house, sorting packed lunches or washing school uniforms.

Yet he seems to take one hell of a lot of credit on December 25. And for what? Delivering a few presents on Christmas morning. Easy peasy.

I was fully prepared to cast this intruder ous t of my life and lodge him in the "he doesn't exist" bin. That's until I actually met him.

I hooked up with him in Lapland, one of the most enchanting places I think I've ever visited.

 

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Visit Santa, See the Northern Lights and Stay in an Igloo – All in One! | London Mums Magazine

Visit Santa, See the Northern Lights and Stay in an Igloo – All in One! | London Mums Magazine | Finland | Scoop.it
London Mums Magazine (RT @londonmums: Visit @santa__claus, See the Northern Lights and Stay in an Igloo – All in One!
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Finnish Santa is a total hard ass

Finnish Santa is a total hard ass | Finland | Scoop.it
Finnish Santa is a total hard ass http://chokeonwords.com/wordpress/chaoticdefault/finnish-santa-is-a-total-hard-ass/...
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Santa Claus' Hometown Is As Magical As You Imagined It Would Be

Santa Claus' Hometown Is As Magical As You Imagined It Would Be | Finland | Scoop.it

This is Rovaniemi. It's the capital of Lapland, the northernmost province of Finland. It was practically destroyed by the Nazi army in 1944, and so was essentially rebuilt by famed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

Oh, and did we mention, that it happens to be Santa Claus' official earthly residence?

The town has not only Santa's office (where he opens mail, obviously) but also a Santa Park, which is open November 23 through January 11 and official post office.

Need a holiday spirit (albeit a bit early)? Join us for a little Santa fun time.

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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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Win A Trip To Finland: Get In The Snow With Visit Finland | Travels with a Nine Year Old

Win A Trip To Finland: Get In The Snow With Visit Finland | Travels with a Nine Year Old | Finland | Scoop.it
We love Finland. So here's a chance for readers to win a trip for two to Finland.

 

Z learnt to ski in Yllas, Finland, and when I think of snow, for some reason, I tend to think of Finnish Lapland — the home of Santa Claus, of reindeer, husky sleds, snowmobiles and more.

Highlights of that trip? Scampering from the sauna into the snow to make snow angels. Racing a snowmobile across a frozen lake. Visiting Santa Claus’ village with a child still young enough to believe. Watching grazing reindeer, and taking a ride in a reindeer sleigh...

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Santa's Lapland: Where does the man in red really live? The Finns say Joulukka - National Post (blog)

Santa's Lapland: Where does the man in red really live? The Finns say Joulukka - National Post (blog) | Finland | Scoop.it

Finns are adamant the real Santa lives in Lapland, and they’re out to prove it.
Rather than stoop to the level of mall appearances, however, Finland’s tourism board recently demonstrated their seriousness about the matter by inviting a select group of journalists to Santa’s headquarters in Joulukka, just north of the Arctic Circle in the cultural region known as Lapland.

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Light-speed Santa

Distance travelled by Father Christmas from Korvatunturi to all Finnish homes exceeds that of a trip to the moon and back

 

How is it possible for the Santa Claus of Korvatunturi in Finnish Lapland to visit every home in Finland on Christmas Eve?
Helsingin Sanomat decided to look for an answer both seriously and less seriously.
The work of Father Christmas is made easier if he could move at the speed of light – 299,792,458 kilometres a second. Dr. Tuukka Puranen of the information technology department of the University of Jyväskylä explains what would happen then.

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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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First snow arrived in Santa Claus' Village at the Arctic Circle in Lapland Finland Rovaniemi

Santatelevision Travel video: First snow arrived in Santa Claus' Village at the Arctic Circle in Lapland Finland Rovaniemi - Finnish Lapland tourism video - ...
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Reindeer video: Reindeer DVD postcard, Video about reindeer, reindeer DVD postcards

Reindeer video: Reindeer DVD postcard, Video about reindeer, reindeer DVD postcards | Finland | Scoop.it
Santa television:   DVD Video about reindeer in Lapland in Finland. Reindeer film postcards. Reindeer videos (Crazy about Lapland? Spend a minute or two marveling wonders of Northern Finland!
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Travel To Rovaniemi and The Artic Circle

Travel To Rovaniemi and The Artic Circle | Finland | Scoop.it
Rovaniemi a perfest family destination close to the Artic Circle and offering fabulous nature,Rovaniemi sights and sites of interest.View the Northern Lights and for children Santa Claus Land gives...
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Glass Igloo in Kakslauttanen Hotel in Finland

Glass Igloo in Kakslauttanen Hotel in Finland | Finland | Scoop.it
When you hear about Finland you think of Santa Claus home and Aurora Borealis. Of course there are a million other things to see there, but these two are the most famous ones. Any way, the polar nights are known to be really cold , so it’s pretty hard to stay out and enjoy the beautiful show of the skies, even if you are equipped with fur coats and thick clothes. That is precisely why some smart guys from Kakslauttanen Hotel in Finland had a brilliant idea: to build a glass igloo that will allow the tourists inside feel warm and comfortable and at the same time enjoy the Northern Lights all night long.
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