Do you miss Santa Claus? Want to feel his presence even if it is not Christmas? Visit Santa’s Hometown at Savukoski, Finland and you will experience Christmas all year long.
Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas is the legendary figure for Christmas gift-giving in the Roman Catholic. Savukoski in Finland is also known as the home of “Father Christmas” or “Joulupukki” in Finnish. Finnish children are excited because they thought that they will be the first ones to receive gifts from Santa since it is their fellow countryman.
Santa’s arrival in Finland skips the chimney and delivers the gifts directly to the children home’s doors in a sleigh pulled by reindeers. Families in Finland traditionally have dinner of ham, pork roast, casserole or fish with mulled wine or “glögi” in Finnish as a drink.
According to Finnish folklore, the hometown of Father Christmas is in Korvatunturi Fell in Savukoski municipality where his secret workshop is located. It is where toys, trinkets and other beautiful unique gifts were made and wrapped by elves. Korvatunturi literally means “Ear Fell” in English as it is shaped like an ear. Finnish children are told that from the “Ear Fell,” Santa Claus can hear what the children are saying to find out who is naughty or nice and who will receive gifts for Christmas.
It started in 1927, when a broadcaster in a Finnish country named Markus Rautio or also known as Uncle Marcus, said that Santa’s workshop was found in Korvatunturi in Lapland. Based on the folklore, since its location was revealed, the elves think of a way to keep the place hidden and keep people away from going there. The elves build a place where people can visit and meet Santa Claus and still retain the privacy of their secret workshop. Santa’s official hometown then moved from Kovatunturi to Rovaniemi.
Rovaniemi is the current administrative capital and commercial center of Finland’s Lapland province. It is a city and municipality in Lapland along with Kovatunturi. Historically, Rovaniemi was extremely destroyed by World War II. It also suffered from Russian bombs, captured by Nazis and wrecked by German troops. It witnessed and experienced the fiercest battles in the world.
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) provided aid to Finland. They planned the restoration of the place with the help of famous Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto. Currently, Rovaniemi is known with its prominent landmarks such as the Rovaniemi Town Hall, the Jätkänkyntillä bridge over the Kemikoji river with its eternal flame, the Arktikum House that soars up the bank of the Ounasjoki river, the Lappia House that serves as a theater, concert hall and congress center and the library. The last three prominent buildings are by the Finnish architecture, Alvar Aalto.
In 1984, the Finnish tourism board planned to boost tourism and help the economy in Finland. They then declared Lapland as a “Santa Claus Land.” In 1985, Santa Claus Holiday Village was opened to the public. “Arctic circle” post office stamps were made, and postal workers wore elf costumes. The elf postal workers receive around 500,000 mails a year for Santa.
Santa Claus Holiday Village is also called “Christmas House.” It hosts a unique Christmas theme exhibition that covers today’s Christmas customs as well as centuries-old traditional Finnish and foreign Christmas traditions. The exhibit also includes photography service where you can have a picture with Santa Claus and shows fascinating Christmas videos.
Santa Claus Holiday Village also offers letters, cards and unique gifts to be sent to your loved ones. Santa’s cheerful elf workers will happily post your greetings for you. Don’t worry even if you’re a foreigner that just had your vacation in the place because Santa’s elves will deliver it to them anywhere in the world and any time of the year.
Santa Claus Holiday Village is a great place to meet and visit Santa all year round. You can sit by their fireplace and write a letter to your family and friends. They will be surprised to receive a letter, cards, and gifts from Santa’s hometown in Christmas or even in summer.