She used a candle-lit wreath to light her way, leaving her hands free to carry as much food as possible. 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.  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. 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”). , Christmas has traditionally been a family celebration, but in the 2000s it has become common to spend Christmas alone. Christmas is the most important holiday of the year – as in many other countries.  The third and fourth Christmas Day have also been called little holidays or midweek holidays. Beetroot salad, smoked salmon and/or pickled herring are served as side dishes to the main course. Traditional Christmas dinner in Finland comprises of a cold platter of fish like Graavi or Salmon, with fish eggs and salad on the side. It became a common practice at the graves of fallen soldiers after the Winter War and soon at other graves too. December 13 is St. Lucia Day, otherwise known as the Feast of Saint Lucy. The traditions and holidays in Finland are a perfect blend of their pagan customs and Christianity. The outfit also included a mask made of birch bark and a sheepskin coat worn inside-out.. 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. The traditional dessert is a light rice pudding … Old-fashioned Christmas fun in Helsinki.  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. 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. Blog. Christmas in Finland does not officially end until 13 days after Christmas Day, which makes the holiday time truly a season, as opposed to a single-day celebration.  Decorations made of straw have their source in kekri, the harvest festival.  The first Christmas trees came to Finland in the middle of the 1800s.. He put goat horns on his head as in shamanistic tradition to look like a goat. Nov. 2, 2020. Previously the Lutheran church was very strict about attending the Christmas church. Joulurauha (Christmas Peace) It’s an old Christian tradition to put war on hold during Christmas. Some traditional Christmas decorations are himmeli (a hanging decoration made of straw) and Yule Goat. Remote health initiatives to help minimize work-from-home stress; Oct. 23, 2020 From the First Advent, people, especially the children, maintain the advent calendar, wherein they keep checking the coming of Christmas.  Before giving out the presents, some may light candles for the dead. Many Finnish families also visit cemeteries to remember lost loved ones. 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. 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. Feeding small birds at Christmas is an old tradition and the peasant culture’s ritual that brought good luck to farming. In the Nordic countries, the most important Christmas celebration takes place on Christmas Eve. Apples and other fruits, candies, paper flags, Food traditions during the Christmas period depend on which part of Finland people live. Advent wreaths are hung on the doors of apartments and houses. the first Sunday in December marks the beginning of the Christmas season. Many children use advent calendars that count down the remaining days to Christmas Eve. Christmas In Finland goes on for another 13 days after Christmas which is why it is called the Christmas season. The Christmas gospel is heard and Luther’s hymn 21 Enkeli taivaan (Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her) is sung. Christmas traditions in Finland are based around family and the warmth of the family home. Lutefisk and porrige are some of the oldest Christmas foods. soul birds, celebrated the mid-winter holiday with the living. Christmas Eve in Finland is filled with the bright sounds of carols and local Christmas songs. Traditions on Christmas Eve in Finland include going to a Christmas mass if you are Catholic and a visit to a Finnish sauna. In Finland the Christmas tree is set up on Christmas Eve. The Finnish Christmas starts on December 23 and ends after December 26. Barley was replaced by rice in the 1800s. The Christmas period ends on Epiphany. Some cemeteries are so large, there are police on duty just to manage the traffic, and everyone must walk to last few yards to the grave. Gifts are given on Christmas Eve, and people eat on Christmas day which is followed by sauna. People washed in the Christmas sauna before the festivities, and food and drink gifts were left there for the elf. Offices hold parties and in the homes families set up a little Christmas tree with little gifts for the children.  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. Pork roast is the main dish in most households and a variety of fish, casseroles and salads are served with it. Posti Group has been publishing Christmas stamps since 1973. On Christmas Eve people usually eat rice porridge. Discover these strange and magical Christmas tales from Lapland, and how they have shaped our modern Christmas traditions. On Christmas Eve, Danes have a Christmas dinner usually consisting of duck or goose, red cabbage, and caramelized potatoes. At noon on Christmas Eve, peace is proclaimed with a ceremony in Turku, the former capital and oldest city in Finland. Christmas Eve, not Christmas itself, is the highlight of Joulu celebrations. Everyone cleans their houses ready for the three holy days of Christmas - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. 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. In sauna you had to be very quietly, so the mosquitoes couldn’t find you next summer.  Unlike on other public holidays, public transportation stops almost completely on the afternoon of Christmas Eve in Finland. The children usually dress up and go around giving Daffodils d… ... Easter traditions in Finland are very interesting. 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. First Advent i.e. 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. Nowadays candles may be lighted as a common experience to honor the dead.. Saint Lucia was a 3rd-century martyr who brought food to Christians in hiding. Finnish winter in itself reminds a holiday: wonderful nature is dressed in a fantastic snow-white lace. Christmas sauna is a Finnish tradition. For the Teletubbies episode "Christmas in Finland", see, Overview of the role of Christmas in Finland. Finnish Christmas Carols and Songs. After that, baked Ham with mustard sauce is served with baked vegetables. 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. The most authentic Christmas Eve breakfast is rice pudding. The purpose of the barley or oat sheaf was to keep the birds away from the crop in the summer. Nuts and pieces of suet are also hung on trees in bags from the branches. People from all over the world send letters to Santa Claus in Finland. Christmas in Finland begins, as is commonplace on public holidays in Finland, on Christmas Eve. 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. 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 Terri Mapes specializes in giving first-time Scandinavia visitors practical tips for their travels. She serves her parents buns, cookies, coffee, or mulled wine. The meal traditionally consists of oven-baked ham, rutabaga casserole, beetroot salad, and other foods common in the Nordic countries. 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