Terri Mapes specializes in giving first-time Scandinavia visitors practical tips for their travels. Eating abundantly at the Christmas meal comes from the ancient Finns and relates to the agricultural year cycle and the festival of light celebrated around the winter solstice. The Finnish pagans may have believed that the dead, i.e. The Christmas gospel is heard and Luther’s hymn 21 Enkeli taivaan (Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her) is sung. From the First Advent, people, especially the children, maintain the advent calendar, wherein they keep checking the coming of Christmas. [15] Christmas calendars arrived in Finland after the second world war. There are plenty of holiday traditions, such as the Christmas Eve broadcast of the Declaration of Christmas Peace . Hi, I’m Wilbur.Is anyone else really excited for Christmas? The Declaration of Christmas Peace has been a tradition in Finland from the Middle Ages every year, except in 1939 due to the Winter War.. Finland - Christmas traditions & customs. The highlight of the evening comes when Santa knocks on the door and asks, “Are there any well-behaved children here?” Nov. 2, 2020. Reading the Christmas gospel before the meal became common at the end of the 1800s as a consequence of the Christian revival. Christmas in Finland (as all over Scandinavia) is mostly about taking things slowly and enjoying the company of loved family members. For the Teletubbies episode "Christmas in Finland", see, Overview of the role of Christmas in Finland. In the Finnish tradition, the Christmas period has usually been considered to start on Tuomas’s nameday on December 21 and to continue until St. Knut's Day on January 13. Meta: A look at Christmas traditions from Finland. People in wealthy families started giving each other presents at the beginning of the 1800s. After a couple of Christmas ales, carols are sung with gusto. The Kekri tradition of leaving presents for the dead was moved to Christmas. Talking about other Christmas traditions in Finland, they begin much before the actual date of the festival. Christmas tree. Many children use advent calendars that count down the remaining days to Christmas Eve. Obviously, food plays a central part in Christmas celebrations in Finland, too. soul birds, celebrated the mid-winter holiday with the living. Old-fashioned Christmas fun in Helsinki. Finns often hope to have a white Christmas – at least everyone seems to have golden memories from their childhood when “there was always snow during Christmas”. People in Finland say that Santa does not have to travel too far since they believe that he lives in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturi (or Lapland), north of the Arctic Circle. Traditionally, the eldest girl in the family portrays St. Lucia, donning a white robe and a crown of candles. Casseroles, prune soup and gingerbread biscuits were adopted from the upper classes in the 1800s and 1900s. Early-morning Christmas church on Christmas Day morning is part of the Protestant tradition. The traditions and holidays in Finland are a perfect blend of their pagan customs and Christianity. The Christmas period ends on Epiphany. Finnish traditions include the Christmas sauna and the preparation of Christmas dinner. At noon on Christmas Eve, peace is proclaimed with a ceremony in Turku, the former capital and oldest city in Finland. The tree is decorated with fat balls. Finnish Christmas traditions In the old town of Turku, the former capital of Finland, a special ceremony is held to declare the beginning of "Christmas peace" period, starting at 12 o'clock noon on Christmas Eve and lasting for twenty days. Getting together with friends and family during the Christmas season is always special, and heavy metal musicians are no exception – even if, on stage, they are bad boys and girls all year long. People from all over the world send letters to Santa Claus in Finland. [16], The tradition to visit cemeteries to light candles on family graves was started in the 1900s. They often have a porridge for lunch—with a hidden almond in it—where the person who gets it has to sing a song and is considered the luckiest person at the table. The first Sunday in December—also called the First Advent—starts the Finnish Christmas season. Christmas is the time in which we all enjoy sharing traditions that remain through time. We also have fun games, jokes, recipes, and gift ideas for the whole … Traveling to Rovaniemi, Lapland in Finland for Christmas is more rewarding when equipped with some general information regarding the country’s traditions. People washed in the Christmas sauna before the festivities, and food and drink gifts were left there for the elf. Traditional Finnish Christmas decorations in Turku. Nowadays candles may be lighted as a common experience to honor the dead.[17]. In sauna you had to be very quietly, so the mosquitoes couldn’t find you next summer. The outfit also included a mask made of birch bark and a sheepskin coat worn inside-out.[9]. Gifts are given on Christmas Eve, and people eat on Christmas day which is followed by sauna. This is reflected in several rhymes and jingles, such as Hyvä Tuomas joulun tuopi, paha Nuutti pois sen viepi (“Good Tuomas the bringer, bad Nuutti the taker of Christmas”). Having a sauna at Christmas is an old tradition. The Christmas ham replaced the kekri lamb, and in the 1940s it was challenged by the wild turkey. On Christmas Eve, Danes have a Christmas dinner usually consisting of duck or goose, red cabbage, and caramelized potatoes. This tradition was called “Christmas Peace” in Finland, and has been kept alive ever since the war. Posti Group has been publishing Christmas stamps since 1973. Advent wreaths are hung on the doors of apartments and houses. For those wondering where on earth Finland is, it’s a European country that has the fewest amounts of residents in its borders of all members of the European Union and it also has the second longest tunnel. This is the day the Christmas lights are turned on. In Sweden, Estonia and Finland, joulupukki (Christmas goat) was a man who dressed as a fertility rite character, a goat. Advent calendars come in many forms from a simple paper calendar with flaps covering each of the days to fabric pockets on a background scene to painted wooden boxes with cubby holes for small items. Beetroot salad, smoked salmon and/or pickled herring are served as side dishes to the main course. ... Easter traditions in Finland are very interesting. Discover these strange and magical Christmas tales from Lapland, and how they have shaped our modern Christmas traditions. Traditions on Christmas Eve in Finland include going to a Christmas mass if you are Catholic and a visit to a Finnish sauna. Everyone cleans their houses ready for the three holy days of Christmas - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. [6] The third and fourth Christmas Day have also been called little holidays or midweek holidays. Previously the Lutheran church was very strict about attending the Christmas church. The children usually dress up and go around giving Daffodils d… Christmas in Finland it’s the time spent with family during the festive, traditional supper. The meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are quite elaborate. Finland marks ‘official’ start of Christmas with peace declaration 24.12.2019 Finland declares Christmas Peace in 700-year-old tradition 24.12.2018 Finland declares Christmas Peace against snowless backdrop 24.12.2017 Finland declares Christmas Peace amid security concerns 24.12.2016 Security stepped up for Turku Christmas Eve ceremony December 13 is St. Lucia Day, otherwise known as the Feast of Saint Lucy. Finns start wishing each other a hearty Hyvää Joulua, or "Merry Christmas," weeks before Christmas day and continue to do so for nearly two weeks after the official holiday. Christmas Eve in Finland is filled with the bright sounds of carols and local Christmas songs. Evidence of this is even the name of the month December – “Joulukuu” – “Christmas month”. Much like the end of Thanksgiving is the signal for Americans to start Christmas celebrations, Saint Lucia Day is usually the day that Finns begin to start Christmas tree shopping and decorating. Many times ago it was the most important part of the Christmas, and the heating of the sauna was started very early, sometimes already the night before so everyone could go to sauna before it got dark outside. Baked ham is cooked for hours in the oven. Families and friends also begin to exchange Christmas cards at this time. Finland is his home town. If you did not attend, you were reprimanded publicly in the annual catechetical meeting. Christmas in the Nordic countries is celebrated on Christmas Eve. The Christmas tree is considered by some as Christianisation of pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs, and an adaptation of pagan tree worship; according to eighth-century biographer Æddi Stephanus, Saint Boniface (634–709), who was a missionary in Germany, took an axe to an oak tree dedicated to Thor … Traditional Christmas dinner in Finland comprises of a cold platter of fish like Graavi or Salmon, with fish eggs and salad on the side. Because it gets very dark early in the day around Christmas in many parts in Finland (around 3PM), it’s a tradition to go to cemeteries to visit the graves of family members. Santa Claus, called Joulupukki in Finnish, generally visits most houses on Christmas Eve to give presents—at least to those who have been good. Their Christmas follows the Christmas trees tradition and Advent calendars. [7] The Finnish Orthodox Church spends Christmas at the same time as the Western Christianity. The day after Christmas is known as St Stephen’s Day or Boxing Day where family visits are common and it is tradition to go horse riding or sleigh riding since St Stephen was the patron saint of horses. poinsettias, Christmas seals, Christmas trees, gift giving, hanging stockings, nativity scenes, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Santa Claus, and more. This is reflected in several rhymes and jingles, such as Hyvä Tuomas joulun tuopi, paha Nuutti pois sen viepi (“Good Tuomas the bringer, bad Nuutti the taker of Christmas”). Many Finnish families also visit cemeteries to remember lost loved ones. Joulurauha (Christmas Peace) It’s an old Christian tradition to put war on hold during Christmas. Prior to 1774, Finland also celebrated a third Christmas Day, the day of apostle John the Evangelist on December 27, and a fourth Christmas Day, Massacre of the Innocents on December 28. Nuts and pieces of suet are also hung on trees in bags from the branches. During Christmas, the average amount of snow is normally around 40 centimetres in Lapland, 30 centimetres in Central Finland and 10 centimetres in Southern parts of Finland. The Finnish Christmas starts on December 23 and ends after December 26. [5] However, King Gustav III of Sweden cut them down to two, because the nobility and bourgeoisie believed that long holidays made the workers too lazy. She serves her parents buns, cookies, coffee, or mulled wine. It is commonplace to go in the sauna at Christmas. Christmas in Finland can be memorable for visitors because Finnish yuletide traditions are very different from many other countries and regions in the world. After that, baked Ham with mustard sauce is served with baked vegetables. the first Sunday in December marks the beginning of the Christmas season. The Christmas season in Finland begins on the Saturday before Advent, known as Little Christmas. In Finland, the day is celebrated with lots of candles and formal celebrations in every Finnish town. At a time when food was grown at home, gluttony and eating meat at Christmas was rare luxury. [15], This article is about the public holiday in Finland. Finnish Christmas Carols and Songs. Feeding small birds at Christmas is an old tradition and the peasant culture’s ritual that brought good luck to farming. They may have also believed birds to bring good luck to the home. Christmas Eve, not Christmas itself, is the highlight of Joulu celebrations. The surface is usually thinly coated with breadcrumbs, rye flour, or mustard and broiled until nicely browned. Turku is considered to be the oldest city in Finland and it has for centuries integrated Christmas traditions from all over Europe into the Finnish culture. Finnish traditions can have some similarities with neighboring Scandinavian countries and some traditions are shared among other Christian households around the world, including in the U.S. [20], To preserve nature, some people choose a tree in the garden or nearby forest to decorate for the birds, instead of buying a Christmas tree. Decorated Christmas trees became popular in Finland towards the end of the 19th century, although the habit of erecting festive trees is known to have been common already long before this in the Nordic countries.. Christmas trees are spruces, usually decorated with (nowadays electric) candles or lights, silver or golden … Some traditional Christmas decorations are himmeli (a hanging decoration made of straw) and Yule Goat. Evening messages plus, 2009, no. [11][12] Decorations made of straw have their source in kekri, the harvest festival. Finnish Christmas Main Dishes If salmon is the queen of the Finnish Christmas table, ham is definitely the king (joulukinkku). Christmas in Scandinavia: Traditions, Events, and Foods, Celebrate Christmas Italian Styles at These City Events, Christmas in New Mexico: Family Activities and Lights Displays, An Alaska Christmas: Festivals and Events, Christmas Activities and Festivities in the Greater Phoenix Area, 18 Places to Spend Your Christmas Vacation With Kids, Learn How to Celebrate St. Lucia Day in Scandinavia, Things to Do for Christmas in Northern Virginia, How Día de la Candelaria is celebrated in Mexico on February 2, Best Things to Do for Christmas in Nashville. [2] Unlike on other public holidays, public transportation stops almost completely on the afternoon of Christmas Eve[3] in Finland. The most authentic Christmas Eve breakfast is rice pudding. Barley was replaced by rice in the 1800s. [19], The usual Christmas decorations are spruce twigs, Christmas tree, Christmas wreaths, straw goats, himmelis, apples, candles, Christmas tablecloths, Christmas flowers, outdoor torches, ice lanterns and sheafs. Animals are given their own Christmas in Finland, with farmers sometimes hanging a sheaf of wheat on a tree to be eaten and pecked at by the birds. Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Joulusta voi nauttia myös yksin – yksinäisyys voi antaa hengähdystauon tai intoa tehdä uusia asioita", "Rakas, tuttu ja tunnelmallinen suomalainen joulu – jouluperinteet", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Christmas_in_Finland&oldid=996532599, Articles with dead external links from November 2017, Articles needing additional references from November 2017, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles needing rewrite from December 2017, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Vento, Urpo: Joulu, vuoden suurin juhla. Finland’s heavy-metal stars reveal their lighter side at Christmas. Apples and other fruits, candies, paper flags, Food traditions during the Christmas period depend on which part of Finland people live. Christmas sauna is a Finnish tradition. FINNISH CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. Pork roast is the main dish in most households and a variety of fish, casseroles and salads are served with it. In the Nordic countries, the most important Christmas celebration takes place on Christmas Eve. He put goat horns on his head as in shamanistic tradition to look like a goat. In the old town of Turku, the former capital of Finland, a special ceremony is held to declare the beginning of "Christmas peace" period, starting at 12 o'clock noon on Christmas Eve and lasting for twenty days. Christmas dinner is served in Finland, between 5 and 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Christmas and New Year in Finland. [10] In Sweden, the church was against this tradition, and it was about to disappear in Finland too, until some newspapers and charitable organisations revived it. The tradition of declaring Christmas peace is known to date back to 13th century. The Finns try to keep the Christmas spirit alive for father Christmas, so that he can She used a candle-lit wreath to light her way, leaving her hands free to carry as much food as possible. Customs of Christmas explores the origins of our Christmas customs and traditions, like advent, candy canes, Christmas caroling, Christmas cards, Christmas lights. There is a big tourist theme park called Christmas Land in the north of Finland, near where they say Father Christmas lives. Remote health initiatives to help minimize work-from-home stress; Oct. 23, 2020 Teoksessa, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 04:22. First Advent i.e. The traditional dessert is a light rice pudding … Lutefisk and porrige are some of the oldest Christmas foods. [18], Christmas has traditionally been a family celebration, but in the 2000s it has become common to spend Christmas alone. Lessons from Content Marketing World 2020; Oct. 28, 2020. The Declaration is a reading at mid-day on Christmas Eve, in which listeners are encouraged to treat Christmas with respect and adopt an atmosphere of peace. Christmas is the most important holiday of the year – as in many other countries. In the morning of the 24th of December families gather together for Christmas rice pudding, served hot and topped with cinnamon, sugar and other spices. The purpose of the barley or oat sheaf was to keep the birds away from the crop in the summer. 23.12.2009, p. 7. Prior to 1774, Finland also celebrated a third Christmas Day, the day of apostle John the Evangelist on December 27, and a fourth Christ… The meal traditionally consists of oven-baked ham, rutabaga casserole, beetroot salad, and other foods common in the Nordic countries. On Christmas Eve people usually eat rice porridge. Christmas traditions in Finland are based around family and the warmth of the family home. They often have a porridge for lunch—with a hidden almond in it—where the person who gets it has to sing a song and is considered the luckiest person at the table. [22], The Finnish Yule table normally features different casseroles made usually of carrot, swede (lanttulaatikko) or potato (sweetened potato casserole) and various fish, such as cold smoked salmon, gravlax and Coregonus lavaretus (graavisiika). Offices hold parties and in the homes families set up a little Christmas tree with little gifts for the children. Finnish Christmas Traditions. Why are they so concerned about keeping the Christmas spirit alive? It became a common practice at the graves of fallen soldiers after the Winter War and soon at other graves too. Many Finnish families also visit cemeteries to remember lost loved ones. Christmas In Finland goes on for another 13 days after Christmas which is why it is called the Christmas season. In Finland, Santa, ( or Father Christmas) is where the big man lives. The Finnish consume the largest amounts of coffee in the wor [1] Especially the evening of Christmas Eve has become the most important day of the Christmas period, and is nowadays a paid holiday in most workplaces. The Old Tyme Christmas market in Turku has a lot of traditional Christmas decorations such as the Yule Goat. [4], In the Finnish tradition, the Christmas period has usually been considered to start on Tuomas’s nameday on December 21 and to continue until St. Knut's Day on January 13. Blog. [13] The first Christmas trees came to Finland in the middle of the 1800s.[14]. Christmas in Finland begins, as is commonplace on public holidays in Finland, on Christmas Eve. [21] Before giving out the presents, some may light candles for the dead. Harjumaa, Marika: What a miracle Christmas plum ?. The Finnish Easter holiday is a blend of Pagan and Christian customs. Saint Lucia was a 3rd-century martyr who brought food to Christians in hiding. 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