Monday, December 29, 2014

Finnish Showcase: Celebrating the Holidays in Helsinki

To wrap up our virtual tour of Finland, we’ve decided to spend a little time dreaming about the holiday season in Helsinki. Imagining the picturesque blanket of soft white snow and visiting quaint craft vendors has us already thinking about where we might like to visit in 2015...

via Flickr by Timo Newton-Syms
Helsinki is well known for it’s festive flair during the holiday season. Not only are you almost guaranteed to experience a white Christmas in this city, but it’s also home to Aleksanterinkatu (the official Christmas street) and the St. Thomas Christmas Market. We just can’t let go of the holiday season quite yet!


Aleksanterinkatu, or Alexander Street, is renowned for it’s brilliant display of festive lighting and competitive window display decorating. This beautiful lighting tradition began in 1949 by the shopkeepers of the street that wished to bring light and hope to the residents of Helsinki.

via Flickr by hugovk
This past November Aleksanterinkau celebrated its 66th annual lighting, which is now commonly viewed as the opening of the Christmas season. The official lighting ceremony (attended by none other than Father Christmas!) is followed by the annual Christmas Parade down the street and into the city center.

St. Thomas Christmas Market

How could we speak of the Christmas season in Helsinki without mentioning the St. Thomas Christmas Market? We can’t. This market is practically synonymous with all things festive and Finnish!

Every year this market opens up in the Senate Square, in the heart of Helsinki. Open every day in December during the days leading up to Christmas, this market becomes home to more than 120 stalls. Vendors will carry everything from handmade crafts, to traditional Finnish food and drinks, and of course you will also be able to find a fabulous selection of Christmas decorations.

via Flickr by hugovk
Handmade trinkets, beautiful lights and the possibility of fluffy snowflakes? This sounds like a pretty perfect Christmas to me!

Have you ever spent part (or all) of the holiday season in Helsinki? If so, tell us what your favourite part was...we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!