This Christmas, touting itself as the “real home of Santa Claus,” Finland celebrates the season with markets, festivities, traditions … and a visit by Santa Claus himself.
, or Joulupukki as the bearded man is called in Finnish, is known to reside in northeastern Lapland, on the Korvatunturi Fell (could that be why your letters never got answered? You were sending them to the wrong place all along).
Legend states that the Korvatunturi Fell is shaped like an ear, allowing Santa to hear the wishes of children from around the world. Korvatunturi is “home base” for Santa’s travels above the Arctic Circle.
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There’s also a Santa Claus village close by that’s open throughout the year with free admission.
This is home to Santa Claus’s Office and where you can meet the jolly man up close and personal, as well as visit his Main Post Office and observe the flurry of the festive season.
Rudolph himself would be pleased to see that cards, letters and parcels sent from Santa Claus’ Main Post Office are stamped with a unique Arctic Circle postmark. Now that’s a “n’ice” touch from this winter wonderland.
Throughout the years, Finland’s Santa Claus has received more than 18 million letters. Happily, nourished by a never-ending supply of milk and cookies from the children of the world, he has answered them all, just in time for Christmas.
In fact, in a single year alone, Santa and his elves receive more than 600,000 letters from more than 150 countries.
You or your children can write to Santa at:
Santa Claus Village
FIN-96930 Arctic Circle, Finland
Close by is Santapark – a fantasy world inside an underground cave where “elves” work all year in preparation for Christmas. Guests can bake and decorate gingerbread in the Gingerbread Kitchen, learn elf skills in Elf School, or make Christmas decorations in the Elf Workshop.
Santa Park’s Sleigh Ride takes guests through four seasons of Finland to the elves’ toy factory where presents for Christmas, sure to make everybody’s season bright, are made. Entrance is 20€ for children and 25€ for adults from November 28-January 10. www.santapark.com
After a visit here to celebrate the Christmas season, you’ll be sure to have a happy ho-ho-ho-liday.