We want to wish you and your family a heartfelt Christmas! We at Lunette will celebrate Christmas and New Years with our families and friends. Let’s continue forward with new and improved enthusiasm after the holidays! Take care.
The European tradition of St. Nikolaus giving presents arrived in Finland in the early 19th century when it merged with old Finnish traditions of masked men. The Finnish Santa Claus was dressed in a grey coat, but after World War II, the coat was changed to the American style red. Santa Claus lives in Korvatunturi, Lapland.
Have you seen Santa Claus in a grey coat?
Today is winter solstice and the shortest day of the year. On the North side of the Arctic Circle the sun doesn’t rise at all. In out hometown the sun rises around 10am and sets at 3pm.
Finnish word “joulu” comes from the name of the old pagan German winter festival yule. It was celebrated during the winter solstice and it was later combined with the Christian celebration of Christmas.
We love the scent of the Christmas tree! A traditional Finnish Christmas tree is the tree for us: a spruce brought home from the forest on Christmas Eve and deorated with candles and different ornaments. Nowadays you can find specially grown Christmas trees and even foreign imports, but for us the traditional one with its subtle beauty is the best. If you are allergic, you can choose a plastic tree or make your own e.g. recycled materials!
Sauna is also part of the Finnish traditions during Christmas. According to tradition, Christmas Sauna warms up during the day and last “löyly” (steam) was for the spirits and sauna elf. Our traditions include tar scented löyly, and the bravest of us might dip in the lake or roll around in the snow naked!
Have you tried sauna or rolling in the snow?
The Finnish Christmas dinner consists of roasted Christmas ham and casseroles: sweetened potato casserole, carrot casserole, rutabaga casserole. Some like to have different kinds of fish, some prefer salads like rosolli with cooked carrots and beetroot, onions, pickle and apple. And let’s not forget Christmas loaf!
What are your traditional Christmas dishes?
We Finns have been enjoying the Christmas calendar in the form of a television show from the year 1963. There have been different kinds of calendars but especially we like Tonttu Toljanter!
On Christmas Eve morning we are watching “Santa’s hotline” which has been aired from 1990. At the end of the program we’ll see the movie “The Snowman” and after it many families listen to The Declaration of Christmas Peace which has been a tradition in Finland from the Middle Ages every year.
Is there any movie or television program that you just have to see during Christmas?
We want to remember our little bird friends at Christmas time. So we put out a bundle of oats for birds to eat. This is a very common Christmas tradition. The winter time can be harsh for those little birdies that don’t fly south for the winter. Most one-family homes have a bird feeding board in their yard that squirrels also like to visit.
What about in your country?
From time to time waiting for Christmas (and gifts!) is boring so we want to go outside and have fun. We like to skate, ski or go downhill in a pulk. The most fun is to skate on ice over the lake when there isn’t any snow slowing us down. We also enjoy skiing, especially when we have hot chocolate and some sandwiches with us.
Does your family have traditions of winter fun?
Today is Saint Lucy’s Day. It is celebrated in Scandinavia and it combines medieval winter solstice and Catholic tradition in honor of Saint Lucy. Saint Lucy is a young woman dressed in a white gown and red belt, wearing a crown of candles. She brings light into the arctic darkness that surrounds us Finns in December.