Traditions of Christmas
By Taru from Rovaniemi, Finland
The story of Christmas starts on the 17th century when the sailor men got the Bishop of the Myra for their Parton on the seas. The Turkish Bishop gave shelter to those who were in trouble on Seas. Later he was named as a Saint Nikolas and his memory was kept alive among mariner nations especially Hollanders. The Hollanders call him as Sint Nikolaas and Germanies call Kris Kringle or Christkindlein. Saint Nikolas comes to see kind people for giving presents on 6th of December every year. The Hollanders who went to America at the end of 1800 century took this tradition with them and around 1920 finally Coca Cola company launched the red dressed, white bear “ Hody Hoy” Santa Claus on markets.
Here in Finland the traditional Santa Claus had an influence also from Saint Nicolas. It was named “Kekri” and actually it was the harvesting crop celebration of the year. Kekri was not as nice person as Santa Claus is today. Kekri was a bit eave and nasty and demanded services for his visit. It had to give food and it had to honor him giving the best place of the room for him sit on. Kekri had not so nice outlook as Coca Cola Santa Claus have. Kekri had a fur coat, antlers on his head and birch bark front of his face. But slowly Kekri got influence of Santa Claus and got red wears and white bear. And more over start to behavior himself even though he wants to know have the children been kind during the past going year and do they deserve the presents that he will give.
I have some photos of Santa Claus:
This is Kekri, an old finnish traditional “Santa Claus” or “Father Christmas”. This photo is taken from Santa Claus museum here in Rovaniemi.
You may visit to see Santa Claus in Santa Claus Village and have a photo with him. He is a very nice guy and will listen to your wishes for presents. His home is in the Chamber of Santa Claus.
This is the main house of the Santa Claus in Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. On winter it is full of tourist and this is very much commercial part of Christmas.
And now the replies to comments:
Leila, Thank you of your comment.
Pary from Iran, thank you of your interest and I wish you luck with online connections.
Natalia from Spain, Yes, I think it is the most exciting time on Christmas when just wait for it and have a little xmas.
James Wu from Taiwan, Snow is cold as subtropical is hot. You may have a freezer; You can try it by spending there three or four hours and have an idea of Cold. I have an idea of hot on every Saturday when we go to heated Sauna, eighty degrees Celsius hot, and spend there as long as we can. Half an hour is enough. We throw water on the heater and then we are surrounded by hot steam. Funny thing, isn’t it!
Next time I will tell something about The Kalevala which is the great Finnish epic. It grew out of rich oral traditions with prehistoric roots. The songs and runes are partly collected at the area where my ancestors have lived in Karelia. I am very fascinated with Wanton Lemminkäinen.
But See you next time,
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