Santa comes early
Christmas Eve is the biggest day for Christmas in Finland, marking when the big Christmas meal is served and Santa comes to visit. The festive food starts with a traditional breakfast of rice porridge and plum juice, before the main meal of the day is eaten in the evening. The feast can include baked ham, cured salmon, rutabaga casserole and beetroot salad, as well as plenty of homemade beer and glogi mulled wine.
After dinner it’s time for a visit from the man himself, and as Santa lives in Lapland, he visits Finnish children first before delivering presents all over the world. This means that the children get to see Santa as they’re still awake. Here Santa – or Joulupukki – always uses the door and on arrival he announces ‘Are there any well-behaved children here?’, to which the children naturally shout yes.