Christmas opening events in Finland 2021 – Helsinki, Rovaniemi and Ranua

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November is almost the end of its first week and Christmas is already fast approaching. The month before December has traditionally been a time of various Christmas opening events in Finland. In this blog post, we tell you more about the Christmas opening events in Helsinki, Rovaniemi and Ranua.
Christmas opening event in the Arctic circle of Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi Christmas opening event

Rovaniemi is known as one of Santa’s hometowns, and for this reason the event in the Arctic Circle is perhaps the most important of the opening events in Finland.

Last year, the Christmas opening was held in Rovaniemi on social media remotely, but after a break of the year, it is time to return to the old normal and traditional local event.

In Rovaniemi, the Christmas opening event will be held on Saturday, November 20, and the venue will once again be Santa’s Workshop Central Square. The atmosphere in the area is created by Christmas music, which takes its listeners comfortably to the moods of Christmas and winter. The Christmas opening culminates, as usual, with Santa’s speech, in addition to which the event includes a lot of atmospheric side programs.

Participation in the Rovaniemi Christmas opening event is also, as usual, completely free of charge. Elsewhere in Finland, it is possible to follow the broadcast of the event via a live broadcast on Visit Rovaniemi’s Facebook page. The same broadcast can also be seen on the Visit Rovaniemi website.

Christmas opening event in Helsinki

Helsingin joulunavaustapahtuma Aleksanterinkadulla
Christmas lights bring atmosphere to the streets of Helsinki © Krista Keltanen | Visit Finland

In Helsinki, the Christmas opening is also celebrated in the traditional style by lighting the Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. In 2021, preparations for Christmas will begin in the form of a traditional event for the 73rd time, and this year the event will take place on November 27, a week later than the traditional event in Rovaniemi.

Helsinki’s Christmas Street will be declared open once again, winged by handsome ceremonies. Last year, the opening was celebrated, like in Rovaniemi, mainly through a stream, but the event itself featured the main characters familiar from the new film Pertsa and Kilu, Finnish artists Arja Koriseva and Mariska and Finnish zither player Ida-Elina.

In connection with the Helsinki Christmas opening, charity organizations ‘Christmas sales are also traditionally organized, where it is possible to buy, among other things, Christmas delicacies and the organizations’ own products.

In normal years, up to about 50 thousand spectators have watched the opening of Christmas Street every year.

For the first time, the Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu were lit in 1949 by merchants on the street. By turning on the lights, the merchants wanted to bring light and hope to the people of Helsinki recovering from the war. Over the years, this event has become an important tradition that officially triggers the anticipation of Christmas in the metropolitan area.

The Gingerbread Market kicks off Christmas wait in Ranua

In Ranua, the anticipation of Christmas has traditionally started in the form of the Pepper Market. In the past, like the Clouberry Market, the Ranua Sports Hall has been an established venue for the outdoor event since the beginning of the 21st century.

The event mainly serves as a sales event for local market vendors as well as artisans. At that time, there are many sales tables in the interior of the Ranua Sports Hall, in addition to which the program has traditionally included, for example, playing a wheel of fortune, organizing various raffles, a gingerbread cookie throwing competition and a variety of other programs suitable for the whole family. In connection with the market, there is also a canteen selling gingerbread, Christmas cakes, small salty, coffee and tea.

One of the most traditional events in the pepper market is a competition to choose the most beautifully decorated gingerbread cookies or gingerbread cookie house. The competition includes its own series for children, young people and adults. The winners will be chosen by public vote.

Although the traditional Gingerbread Cookie Market had to be canceled in 2020, many related votes and rapes were held on the network side. The traditional pepper race was held in a shop window in the center of the village and by public vote. In 2020, the first Brave Reed Act in history was held, which was won by Aleksi Kortesalmi, who participated in a popular TV show, where Finnish farmers are looking for partners.

The Ranua Gingerbread Cookie Market will be held after a one-year break on Saturday, November 27, starting at 10 a.m. Ranua, the ladies of Ranua, the female department of the organization, is responsible for arranging the event.

Sources and about the subject elsewhere: My Helsinki | Christmas in Helsinki Visit Rovaniemi | Rovaniemi Christmas opening 2021 

Main image of the article: Rovaniemi | Visit Finland

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