Most toddlers learn that Santa Claus comes from the North Pole, but children in Scandinavia are taught that he is further south… Finland, Sweden, and Norway compete in where Santa Claus’ hometown is actually.
While children in Finland think his home is in the mythological Korvatuntura (Ear Mountain) in Lapland, children in Sweden believe he comes from the small town of Mora, and children in Norway claim he was born hundreds of years ago under a stone in Drobak on the Oslo Fjord. The Danes teach their children that Santa Claus is in Greenland.
Every year since 1960, Finnish radio broadcaster YLE broadcasts a video broadcast of Santa leaving his log cabin on a sleigh drawn by a white reindeer in his red robe.
The largest city of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi, has been named the official city of Santa. It was created based on a bribe, generating large revenues from tourism, as much as $ 230 million, and attracts 300,000 visitors every year.
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas in Europe, is based on Saint Nicholas of Peace, a fourth-century Greek bishop who lived in the province of the Byzantine Empire, now Turkey.
Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes base their Santa Claus on the mythological gnomic character known as ‘tomte’ or ‘nisse’ in Scandinavian languages. Unlike the Finns, who call it ” joulupukki ” which means Christmas goat and is a derivative of ancient pagan mythology.
Interestingly, in Scandinavia, Santa Claus does not have the habit of going down the chimneys to put presents under the Christmas tree, but instead meets with the children and gives presents to them, at their home, on December 2nd.
Mora, a city in central Sweden, has been the home of Santa Claus since 1984, with about 50,000 people visiting Santaworld ie Tomteland annually. We can also call it a fantasy world. Next to Gesdundaberg, lies a true fairytale land where among the lakes and waterfalls is the Troll empire, fairies, and Santa’s own village. And everything is real! Kids can play with elves, hunt trolls and the adventure has no end!
What is the story behind these characters?
Santa Claus rules over the earth and good things, protecting them with his heart of gold. Evil trolls rule the Empire of Trolls, who are also envious. They make a mess and the team infuriates the village residents. The gnomes are hiding in the woods, fairies dancing between the trees as the trolls set traps … That’s why you, as a visitor, are here to help the people of Tomteland stop the bad intentions and traps of the trolls. In addition, there are always other fun events, such as musicals, dance and theater performances, that you can attend and have fun with. You can dance around the Christmas tree, sled, take pictures with the characters of this fairy tale and sip glögg (Swedish cooked wine) in front of the fireplace in Santa’s workshop.
Can you believe Tomteland received 400,000 letters last year ?!
Below, we bring you some more magical places for you and your family to experience the true spirit of Christmas.
The Danish Christmas season, ” Jul ”, starts on December 1st and lasts until the end of December. The main feast for them is ” Juleaften ”, ie Christmas Eve.
In Copenhagen, you can visit the world-famous Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park and enjoy a unique Christmas atmosphere, a music show and 60 stalls with festive decorations, lamps, desserts, and national dishes. The Højbro Plads Christmas Market, decorated with 80,000 lamps, is also one of the prettiest tourist attractions in Copenhagen at Christmas time and you can take pictures with Santa for free!
The holiday season in Sweden is also called ” Jul” and starts in December and lasts until Saint Knut’s Day, 13 January. One of the most important holidays for them is St. Lucia’s Day, December 13th. In Swedish Lapland, you have the opportunity to observe one of the most fascinating phenomena in the world, the northern lights. In the village of Sami, you can take a short ride on reindeer sleds and later feed them. Gothenburg Festival begins on November 30 at 5 pm. The celebration includes a fire show, a concert and a small exhibition of artwork.
In Norway, you can visit the Spikersuppa Christmas Market where there is a beautiful ice skating rink and other attractions such as the Ferris Wheel or celebrate Christmas with your family at the Oslo Philharmonic Symphony. Each year they prepare two music concerts with an extraordinary choir. Music will be played, from the movie known to us all, Home Alone and Polar Express.
If you find these customs interesting, feel free to contact us and find out how you can experience them firsthand 🙂