Christmas Every Day:

A Trip to Santa Claus Village in Finland

Santa Claus is one of the true icons of Christmas. Is Santa Claus real or is he a figment of our imagination? Let’s take a trip to Santa Claus Village in Finland to find out more about Santa and experience the true magic of Christmas.

Santa Claus is one of the true icons of Christmas.
Is Santa Claus real or is he a figment of our imagination?
Let’s take a trip to Santa Claus Village in Finland to find out more about Santa and experience the true magic of Christmas.

The Origin of Santa Claus

Legend has it that Korvatunturi in Finland is the real home of Santa Claus. In 1927, Uncle Markus, a Finnish radio journalist, presented the children’s radio show Children’s Hour with Uncle Markus on Finland’s national radio channel. On the show he said that Father Christmas lived in Lapland on Ear Mountain (Korvatunturi) together with 20,000 reindeers. He said that this was a location where Father Christmas could hear everything to find out which children were naughty and which were nice.

Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, a red hat with white fur, a big black leather belt and carrying a sack full of gifts. Santa is said to bring gifts to the homes of children on the night of Christmas Eve (December 24) – a feat he accomplishes with the help of eight flying reindeers.

Santa Claus’s Hometown

Rovaniemi is a city and municipality of Finland. It is the administrative capital and commercial centre of Finland's northernmost province, Lapland. Rovaniemi municipality has a population of approximately 60,000 people and covers an area of around 8,000 square kilometers. Rovaniemi has a subarctic climate with the average summer temperature not exceeding 20oC, while in winter the mercury can fall below -20oC. Rovaniemi has the distinction of being the official hometown of Santa Claus and its most famous attraction is Santa Claus Village, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Santa Claus Village is located about 8 kilometers northeast of Rovaniemi and is a happy place, filled with Christmas fairy tales, where tourists can learn more about how Santa lives and works. Although Santa Claus Village is open all year round, the atmosphere is definitely more special in December as Christmas approaches.

Top Attractions at Santa Claus Village

Santa Claus Village is constructed almost entirely from wood, with chalets featuring sloped snow-lined roofs, and the whole area is filled with a wonderful Christmas atmosphere. Famous attractions include the Santa Claus Office, the Santa Claus Main Post Office, souvenir and giftware shops, and the popular reindeer farm.

Taking Photos with Santa

The only place to meet the “real” Santa is the Santa Claus Office – a warm and welcoming place that is open every day from 10:30am. Santa welcomes people from countries around the world to sing and play games together, send warm greetings and have his photo taken with everyone. Santa speaks many languages and will greet you in your native tongue. Photography is not allowed in the Santa Claus Office, so you need to leave your personal belongings and camera outside, but you are welcome to use the official Santa Clause Village photo service to get a memorable snap.

Crossing the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle is a circle of latitude that runs 66°32’35” north of the equator, and the region to the north is simply called the Arctic. At Rovaniemi, the Arctic Circle runs right through Santa Claus Village, and is marked by a white line painted across the park. Visitors can cross the line to officially enter the Arctic region, and for a small sum can get a certificate and photo to commemorate the occasion.

Santa Claus Main Post Office

This is the busiest post office in Finland, which each year receives half a million letters from 150 countries and territories around the world. You can delight your friends and relatives by sending a postcard featuring a unique and very special postmark.

Reindeer Ride Experience

Enjoy reindeer rides right in the backyard of the Santa Claus Office in Santa Claus Village, and don’t forget to take a photo with the cute creatures when you’re done. In addition to the reindeer, you can also experience getting up close with the huskies at Husky Park and enjoying the thrill of a speedy sled ride.

Happy Times at Santa Park

An indoor Christmas theme park, Santa Park is known as the Home Cavern of Santa. There are many things to enjoy, including a look in Santa’s office, an elf show, and learning to bake gingerbread cookies.

Visit Santa Claus
Village in Rovaniemi

After flying to Finland from Hong Kong, Rovaniemi is most easily reached by taking a domestic flight from Helsinki, though you can also get to the town by train, coach or car. A domestic flight takes around 90 minutes to arrive at Rovaniemi airport, which is located 3km from the Santa Claus Village. A car ride from the airport to Santa’s home takes just five to 10 minutes.

An overnight train ride from Helsinki to Rovaniemi takes around eight to 10 hours, and you’ll enjoy the magical experience of waking in the Artic Circle. From the train station, take Santa’s Express or local bus No. 8 to get to Santa Claus Village in just 10 to 15 minutes.

Visit Santa Claus
Village in Rovaniemi

After flying to Finland from Hong Kong, Rovaniemi is most easily reached by taking a domestic flight from Helsinki, though you can also get to the town by train, coach or car. A domestic flight takes around 90 minutes to arrive at Rovaniemi airport, which is located 3km from the Santa Claus Village. A car ride from the airport to Santa’s home takes just five to 10 minutes.

An overnight train ride from Helsinki to Rovaniemi takes around eight to 10 hours, and you’ll enjoy the magical experience of waking in the Artic Circle. From the train station, take Santa’s Express or local bus No. 8 to get to Santa Claus Village in just 10 to 15 minutes.

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