Experience the true magic of a winter wonderland. Lapland, The North of Finland, is the full, arctic experience for a person who wants to explore fantasy in a snowy, mysterious nature. The region offers plenty of activities for families with children to single adventurers.
In December this spectacular winter wonderland is celebrated in several ways. All the villages, towns and resorts will create a sea of Christmas lights in the whiteness: the most beautiful Christmas carols in every church, Christmas markets, outdoor Christmas performances and most of all the Christmas opening ceremonies in the regions with a visit from Santa Claus himself. This is just a hint of what Lapland – The North of Finland offers.
Rovaniemi is the official hometown of Santa Claus and is christmassy all year round. The highlight of the year is at the end of November, when the Christmas season is officially opened by the most famous citizen of Rovaniemi, Santa Claus. Many elves, citizens and tourists also take part in the festivity.
Santa Claus starts his long journey to deliver gifts to children around the world on the day before Christmas Eve from Santa Claus Village. We can all wish him a safe journey and send our Christmas greetings all over the world.
There is a decades long tradition of lighting candles along the main village road in Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi on Christmas Eve. The street lights are off in the evening and the candles beautifully illuminate the snowy scenery. People in Ylläs organize the lighting and travellers can also join them.
The Most Beautiful Christmas Carols event is a very popular singing event in Finland, where everybody can sing along to carols. It is a good way to settle down and find the Christmas spirit. There are international singing events in Café Milli (Nature Centre Kellokas) in December and at Saint Lauri’s Chapel.
This year Santa Claus expects more international visitors than ever in the Ruka-Kuusamo area. On the last November weekend, FIS World Cup Nordic Opening brings competitors from 30 countries to the Ruka Holiday Resort. Santa Claus and Mrs Claus will be among the spectators, cheering the world’s best cross-country skiers, ski jumpers and Nordic combined competitors. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the FIS World Cup Ruka Nordic Opening.
For more than 30 years Kilpisjärvi has been a place for international scientific space research. This year, the University of Oulu has built a new radar station in Kilpisjärvi to the existing EISCAT radar system. In addition to being a light pollution free zone, Kilpisjärvi is also located outside of radio interference. The information collected at the new station will help to collect more information about the highest spheres of space, including the Sun’s activity and the Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights are born from the activities in the Sun. This activity sends particles to the atmosphere and causes colorful effects we call the Northern Lights. The one place you are guaranteed to observe this in Europe, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is between the Norwegian coast and Svalbard. However, if you want to keep your feet dry, try Kilpisjärvi. In Kilpisjärvi you can see the Auroras approximately 200 days a year.
If you wish to observe or photograph the Auroras, remember to wear plenty of layers of warm clothing, take a thermos of hot drink with you and make your way to the shores of Lake Kilpisjärvi prepared for the most spectacular light show you’ve ever seen.