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The Republic of Finland is one of the Nordic countries. The country is inhabited of people with unique charm and guts that themself are a genuine tourist attraction.

Pudasjärvi, Pudasjarvi, Finland, Santa Claus - Happy Christmas Celebrations in Santa`s land!

Stepping out in the couldness after the sauna on the Christmas Eve is something I don`t forget. It was minus 17 degrees in Pudasjärvi, Finland, Soumi, and it was just perfect temperature for cooling down I have been heated in the sauna. Enjoying sauna, rolling in the snow, throwing snow balls on each others and running naked around the hus, it was just what the Finns do when it`s Christmas Eve.
Pudasjärvi,Pudasjarvi,sauna,Finland,soumiPhoto. The way out in minus 17 degrees after the hot sauna. Rolling in icy snow made me really awake.

Eating delicous elk and pork meat, drinking Koff and Karuh beer, and openening Christmas presentets. And of course Santa Claus showed up too. Finnish Christmas traditions are really something to experience.

In my opinion the way Finns practise sauna is both exhange between pleasure and pain, sweeting and freezing. I could feal the blood rushed through my vains, and it made me really awake. It was what I will call a cold refreshment.

In Pudasjärvi, Pudasjarvi, Finland,I joined some Finnish men enjoying sauna and rolling naked in the icy snow on the Christmas Eve 2010. Actually we were rolling out in the host`s flower bed. Ufortunately we could`t see it because it was so well covered with snow. I still wonder why the Finnish do it? It`s for pleasure or it`s to show their macho? Women in Finland do it too. I am Norwegian and did my best to practise the Finnish traditions. We also throw some snow balls at each others. In two private homes I had the big honour to set up the Christmas star on the top of the Christmas tree. In Finland the the inhabitants set up the Christmas Tree near the Christmas Eve, the 24th of December. Both adults ands children enjoyed decorating the tree together ornaments and Christmas lights.

Pudasjärvi is famed for its nature, and is the home of the southernmost fell area in Finland, Syöte. Pudasjärvi is a town and a municipality of Finland. It is located in the province of Oulu and is part of the Northern Ostrobothnia region. The city has a population of 8,842 (31 October 2010) and covers an area of 5,867.23 square kilometres (2,265.35 sq mi) of which 228.62 km2 (88.27 sq mi) is water. Pudasjärvi is by area the second largest town in Finland (as of 2006, Rovaniemi is the largest) and one of the largest in the world.

My best Christmas present was Reindeer droppings. Actually it was a kind of candy shaped as dropping from the Reindeers. It was from Santa himself according to a note on the wrapping paper. I have no further information of the giver, but I suspect especially one person for giving me this delicious surprise.

In the afternoon I could feel the tension in the house. Especially children were waiting eagerly for revealing the wrapped secrets. So one woman started to read from the Bible, and later we danced around in a circle, and children startet to call for Santa.

As written on Wikipedia, Christmas Eve is the eve of Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, but not even in Finland did the three wise man show up. Instead Santa Claus come to give away presents to "good" children and adults.

The Finnish version of Santa Claus, Joulupukki, which roughly translates into Christmas Goat, is a jolly old man dressed in a red suit, and is similar to the jolly old version of Saint Nick.

According to the legend, upon entrance into the family home he says, "Onko täällä kilttejä lapsia?" which roughly translates into the question of whether or not there are any well-behaved children in the home.

A male family member of the family sneaked out of the house, dressed properly up as Santa Claus and knocked on the door and then the children turned pretty wild. Someone were frightened and someone were eager to become friend Santa. All children were so eager that they didn`t notice that one of the guests were missing. That`s really Christmas in Finland.

Stein Morten Lund, 25th December 2010

Additional information Finnish people believe that Father Christmas, Santa Claus, lives in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturi, north of the Arctic Circle. People from all over the world send letters to Santa Claus in Finland. Also the Santa in Norway receive a large number of letters from people who have their Christmas wish.

There is a also a big theme park called "Santa Park" in the north of Finland, Rovaniemi, near to where they say that Father Christmas lives.

The oldest dated rock formations within the European Union can be found in Siuruankylä, Pudasjärvi. The trondhjemite gneiss is aged 3,500 million years.

The saunas has been in Finnish life for centuries. There are more than half a million saunas in Finland. That’s one for every ten Finns, and they are also today an integral part of the Finnish people`s life. In the Finns sauna ritual they jump into the nearest lake or roll in icy snow in winter.
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