Christmas in Oulu

Finland is where Santa Clause lives. So where is it better to celebrate Christmas than in Finland?
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Christmas in Finland

Christmas eve is the main holiday for Finns, and they love to celebrate Christmas. December 25th and 26th are national holidays in Finland, and most of them like to spend Christmas eve with their family, and they visit Christmas mass at midnight. There is also the Christmas sauna, one of the oldest traditions they follow.

This is my first Christmas experience in Finland, and I am so excited and filled with the Christmas spirit.

Like all the other cities in Finland, Oulu also started getting ready for Christmas in late November.

Oulu is ready for Christmas

All the main roads in the city centre, shops, restaurants, houses, and gardens are decorated with Christmas trees and lights. When you roam around the city during the Christmas season, you can see a lot of Yule goats, which are traditional Finnish Christmas decorations.

City centre decorated with lights.

Christmas markets are very common in Finland and all around Europe as well. Oulu has its own outdoor Christmas market in Rotuaari Square. But sadly, due to the pandemic, they don’t have it this year. But you can find indoor Christmas market places filled with handmade Christmas products and traditional food. There are small stalls where you can buy handicrafts, ornaments, handmade wool socks and gifts for your loved ones.

If you feel like having a natural Christmas tree instead of a plastic one, all you have to do is take a walk in the city, and there you can find many places to buy fluffy pine trees, decorations, and ornaments.

You can surely experience the northern white Christmas here in Oulu. It is nice to see all the lights and snow like a painted picture. 

Glögi”, a traditional Christmas drink, is something you should try when you are in Oulu. It is mulled wine made with lingonberries, blackcurrants, cinnamon, and ginger. You can find different kinds of “Glögi” during the Christmas season. You can also buy gingerbread houses.

In December, it’s getting darker around 3 pm in Oulu. But most of the houses light up electric candles or light up Christmas lights in their windows to fight the darkness.

Oulu is brightened up for the Christmas season and preparing for New Year. To get that experience, you must walk around the city chilling in the cold and enjoying the sights.

This year there are some minor setbacks in the celebrations due to the coronavirus, but I am sure next year you all can experience a true Northern Christmas in Oulu. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all! :)

About the author

Anusha Ihalapathirana from Sri Lanka is studying Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Oulu. She loves to travel and get new experiences. During her free time, she takes short walks in the city and captures photographs of beautiful sceneries.