Christmas in Helsinki

When it is Christmas a longer night time feels almost magical, and if you’re in Helsinki, this magical aspect seems endless. Surely a longer night is not that much of a blessing in a different season, but around Christmas, it just means more time to eat additional dinners and more time to drink right! And if you’re lucky enough, there might be snow too, in a longer night when the streets are glowing with snow you will encounter many snow glows - a phenomenon that happens when snow reflects the artificial lights - if you look around, it is a beautiful sight to see and may even have you suspect a visitor from the chimney. Although all the darkness and cold may point to unexpected hardships, it is almost impossible to romanticise the small aspects of life around the time of Christmas, so let’s just do that and warm our fingers by the enchanting fire of Christmas magic for a second.

Photo by Alexandr Bormotin courtesy of Unsplash

Snow-glows are most seen at the end of streets and there’s such a street in Helsinki called “Aleksanterinkatu” but it is “The Christmas Street” at this time of the year. And the street has been lit with hundreds of lights at the end of November since 1949. Although the parade last year was gloomy due to COVID-19, the street is regaining its enchanting beauty this year. The street has been the joyful symbol of Christmas in Helsinki, but this year it is also a decoration of hope. In Helsinki, the year of 2022 is being anticipated with a hopeful attitude. The cancelled Christmas market (Tuomaan Markkinat) of last year is open with this buzzing hope for a better year as well. The stalls in the market provide for many gift-givers with authentic handcrafted choices. Every local here gets a little piece of gift for either themselves or their loved ones here. You can visit the market’s official website for more information.

If you go down to the centre of the city, the feeling of hopefulness can only multiply. The streets are vibrant with both locals and tourists. It is a needed refreshment to have such an anticipated hope after a very hard Christmas last year, so if you decide to visit Helsinki at the last minute it could only bring joy as this city knows how to warm the hearts of people in times of great cold!

Photo by Timo Kakko-Quednau

After last year's gloomy Christmas, this Christmas in Helsinki people will be able to visit the graves of their loved ones and eat dinner with loved ones who still remain. Although there are many dishes for Christmas, it’s a tradition to have “Plum curd” for the sweet cravings. And in the holy night, in Helsinki people feed the birds and other animals too, so there’s no-one that may suffer hunger.

Photo by Timo Kakko-Quednau

As you can see from our little guide - which was prepared with the help of our Lokafyer: Kerstin Quednau - a visit to Helsinki around this time may light your soul and fill your belly and also help you buy the best gifts for your loved ones! Book a tour with one of our Lokafyer (or just book one with Kerstin herself!)