The hometown of Uniogen has a thing for Christmas
Even though Uniogen’s hometown Turku is one of the southernmost cities of Finland and almost 1,200 kilometers from Korvatunturi, the actual home of Santa Claus, Turku carries proudly the title of the Christmas city of Finland. This means of course, that the people of Turku don’t take celebrating Christmas lightly.
Old holiday traditions won’t go away (nor should they)
Turku was the administrative city of Finland much before Helsinki and it has its own, centuries old history. The cathedral of Turku was consecrated in 1300 and one of the diehard traditions is to bring in front of the cathedral an enormous natural Christmas tree. The Christmas lights are lit, et voilà, the nostalgia, magic, and wonder are in the air and the countdown to Christmas Eve begins.
There’s of course much to do throughout December, for example Christmas exhibitions, concerts, and handicraft workshops. Another great way to set the mood is to spend a Sunday afternoon at the Old Great Square Christmas market and head for a mug of hot glögi (Finnish for mulled wine) afterwards.
Christmas peace declared (We’re serious!)
And just when you thought that your holiday spirit couldn’t be any merrier, Turku has something special reserved for the main day. The Christmas peace is declared on Christmas Eve from the balcony of the Brinkkala Mansion. Thousands of locals gather around to hear the declaration, which, in a nutshell, states that Christmas time is to be enjoyed with peace and devotion. This unbroken tradition has been the local way to start the holidays for some 700 years. You can follow the declaration live online. Check it out this year, no matter where you are!
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Happy Holidays from Turku,