Saturday, 18 December 2010


Definitely one of my coldest trips to Finland in a long, long time.  Minus 17 C most days but warming up to minus 11 on the last day!  Positively tropical.  I travelled to Finland with my Swedish friend and colleague, Viveka and due to a Finnair strike we flew via Stockholm with SAS for a change and were treated to the Sankta Lucia procession at the airport.  Saint Lucy comes as a young woman with lights and sweets and is one of the few saint days observed in Scandinavia on December 13th.

The candles symbolize the fire that refused to take St. Lucia's life when she was sentenced to be burned. The women sing a Lucia song while entering the room, to the melody of the traditional Neapolitan song Santa Lucia ; the Italian lyrics describe the view from Santa Lucia in Naples, the various Scandinavian lyrics are fashioned for the occasion, describing the light with which Lucia overcomes the darkness. Each Scandinavian country has lyrics in their native tongues. After finishing this song, the procession sings Christmas carols or more songs about Lucia.  It sounded lovely in the echoey airport and everyone stopped to listen.  Viveka was thrilled as she was hoping to be able to see it at some point on her trip.

Despite the cold it was very pretty, all of the trees are frozen over and the snow is crispy, crunchy underfoot.  The sky is blue - if the sun is out at all.  There was only one bright day - the rest were grey and gloomy.

The Christmas market was on in the town square.  I managed to get a few (not very good) snaps before my camera battery died.  I didn't linger over the photos as my fingers were turning to blocks of ice!

There's all sorts of goodies on offer from traditional hand made crafts

to the food tent with lots of Gloggi and traditional Christmas food - I didn't venture in but listened to these chaps playing festive songs - until they froze over that is :)

lovely hand knitted and felted items

and some lovely singing by these brave ladies.

now that's what you call a Christmas tree!
and my 'little' offering

I still haven't added the extra popcorn and cranberry garlands - have been too busy trying to finish my various Christmas gift projects but I have two days off work now to try and catch up.

I did do a little shopping during my trip - more on that in another post.  Off to meet Anne and Mum for a cup of tea  (yes, and most probably something sinful to go with it) but I am trying not to feel guilty about the added girth that is making itself at home round my middle - much needed Winter insulation I say!

Stay warm, keep calm and carry on wrapping.



  1. Lovely photos it looks like you had a wonderful trip ,I always find other countries Christmas traditions really interesting .
    It sounds like that extra insulation its going to be needed we're getting heavy snow again tomorrow
    xx fee

  2. Hi there,just to say I love your blog and am fellow crafter myself.I loveyour photos and the market looks wonderful.merry christmas,best wishes,julie.xx

  3. beautiful photos - how wonderful to walk around in the icy cold and enjoy the warmth of the Christmas celebration. Love the market photos - what fun! Your Christmas tree is lovely!


    we visited Finland a few years ago and loved it!


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