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Archive for the 'Finnish Holidays' Category

Summer Solstice Celebration: Midsummer Day in Finland

Midsummer day in Finland

When the Summer Solstice comes around in June, the Midsummer celebration in Finland begins! On Midsummer Day, Finland enjoys the warmth of summer with barbeques, time outdoors, and a Midsummer bonfire. Finland’s celebrations of Midsummer are rooted in its religious history and have evolved along with its transition to Christianity.

Learn about the Midsummer celebration Finland observes each year to gain greater insight into Finnish life and culture! Midsummer’s Eve traditions in Finland tell a lot about its culture as a whole, and as any successful language learner can tell you, comprehending a country’s culture is essential in mastering its language.

At FinnishPod101.com, it’s our goal to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Midsummer Day?

A very special celebration for the Finns is the Midsummer, or Juhannus, celebrated at the end of June. The Midsummer is a celebration of light and the height of the summer, and was originally celebrated as a part of the ancient Finnish religion. The Christian churches celebrate the Midsummer as the birthday of John the Baptist (Johannes Kastaja), from where the name Juhannus originates.

Midsummer is celebrated at the brightest time of the year, during which even the nights will be bright in Finland. The bright summer nights are known as the “nightless nights,” and create perfect conditions for the Midsummer party Finland puts on across the country.

2. What Day is Midsummer?

Sunglasses laying on calendar

Between the 19th and 26th of June, Finland celebrates the Summer Solstice through its Midsummer Festival. The date varies each year, so for your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: June 22
  • 2020: June 20
  • 2021: June 26
  • 2022: June 25
  • 2023: June 24
  • 2024: June 22
  • 2025: June 21
  • 2026: June 20
  • 2027: June 26
  • 2028: June 24

3. Reading Practice: Midsummer Celebration in Finland

Food cooking on barbeque

How do Finns celebrate Midsummer? Read the Finnish text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

Monien suomalaisten perinteeseen kuuluu viettää juhannus kesämökeillä järvien rannoilla, joten kaupungeissa onkin juhannuksen aikaan hyvin hiljaista. Myös juhannusfestivaalit ja -konsertit ovat suosittuja, etenkin nuorten keskuudessa.

Juhannusperinteisiin kuuluu juhannussauna tuoreiden saunavihtojen kera, sekä pulahtaminen järveen. Koti, sauna ja soutuvene saatetaan koristella koivunoksin ja luonnonkukin, ja ruotsinkielisillä alueilla saatetaan pystyttää juhannussalko. Juhannuksena syödään ja juodaan hyvin. Etenkin grillaaminen on suosittua.

Tärkeä hetki juhannuksena on juhannuskokon sytyttäminen keskiyön tienoilla. Kokko on yleensä pystytetty järven rantaan, ja sen äärellä valvotaan seurustellen ja tunnelmoiden pitkälle yöhön, joskus aamuun saakka.

Juhannusta vietettiin Suomessa alun perin suomalaisten muinaisjumalan Ukon juhlana, sadon ja hedelmällisyyden varmistamiseksi. Tältä ajalta jäänteitä ovat myös leikkimieliset juhannustaiat, joiden tarkoitus on varmistaa tuleva sato ja naimaonni, tai ennustaa tuleva puoliso.

Juhannushäiden viettäminen oli myös ennen suosittua, mutta nykyään tapa on jo harvinaisempi. Juhannuksen viettoon kuuluu monilla myös romanttiset juhannustanssit. Tanssilavoille kokoontuu tällöin runsaasti ihmisiä tanssimaan lavatansseja, kuten valssia, humppaa, tangoa, foksia tai jenkkaa.

Juhannusta on nimitetty myös Ukon juhlaksi, mittumaariksi, mettumaariksi ja messumaariksi. Mittu,-mettu ja -messumaari nimet ovat lainasanoja ruotsinkielisestä ‘midsommar’ eli ‘keskikesä’-sanasta.

Many Finns have a tradition of spending the Midsummer at their summer cottages on the shores of lakes, which is why it is usually very quiet in the cities during Midsummer. Midsummer festivals and concerts are popular as well, especially among the young.

A part of Midsummer traditions is the Midsummer sauna, which includes fresh sauna bath whisks, and taking a dip in the lake. The home, sauna, and rowing boat may also be decorated with birch branches and natural flowers, and a maypole may be erected in Swedish-speaking areas. It is customary to eat and drink well during the Midsummer. Barbecuing is especially popular.

An important moment of Midsummer is the lighting of the Midsummer bonfire at midnight. The bonfire is usually placed at a lakeshore, and people will stay up socializing and enjoying the atmosphere next to it well into the night, sometimes until dawn.

Midsummer was originally celebrated as the feast of an ancient Finnish god Ukko, to ensure a good harvest and fertility. Other remnants of this ancient time are the playful Midsummer magic rituals, which were meant to ensure the future harvest and marital fortune, or to foresee one’s future spouse. Midsummer wedding celebrations also used to be popular, but nowadays that custom is less common.

Romantic Midsummer dance events are also a part of the Midsummer celebration for many people. Plenty of people will gather to dance pavilions at that time to participate in open-air dances like the waltz, humppa, tango, fox, or jenkka.

The Midsummer has also been called the Festival of Ukko, mittumaari, mettumaari, and messumaari. Mittu-, mettu-, and messumaari are loanwords from the Swedish word midsommar, which means “the middle of the summer.”

4. Midsummer Magic in Finland

Do you know why there are traditions of collecting flowers and staring into a pool (or natural spring of water) while naked on Midsummer night?

Midsummer magic is a part of Midsummer night. When you collect seven different flowers and put them under your pillow, you’ll see your future spouse in a dream. And when staring into a pool while naked, the image of your future spouse should appear on the water’s surface. There is a variety of different Midsummer magic traditions!

5. Useful Vocabulary for Finnish Midsummer Celebrations

Maypole

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Midsummer in Finland!

  • Grillata — “Barbecue”
  • Juhannuspäivä — “Midsummer Day”
  • Sauna — “Sauna”
  • Virvatuli — “Will-o’-the-wisp
  • Suomen lipun päivä — “The Day of the Finnish Flag”
  • Juhannustaika — “Midsummer magic”
  • Keskiyön aurinko — “Midnight sun”
  • Juhannuskokko — “Bonfire”
  • Juhannussalko — “Maypole”
  • Juhannustanssit — “Midnight open-air dance”
  • Loitsu — “Incantation”
  • Saunoa — “Go to the sauna”
  • Mennä mökille — “Go to a cottage”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Finnish Midsummer Day vocabulary list. Here, each word is accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation and a relevant image.

Conclusion

What do you think of Midsummer’s Eve traditions in Finland? Does your country celebrate Midsummer Day, and if so, what do traditions look like in your country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the culture in Finland and the Finnish language, visit us at FinnishPod101.com. We provide an array of practical learning tools for every learner to ensure that anyone can master Finnish! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study with our free Finnish vocabulary lists, and chat with fellow Finnish learners on our community forums. By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin using our MyTeacher program to learn Finnish one-on-one with your own teacher!

Learning a new language is no easy goal, but know that your determination and hard work will soon reap rewards! And FinnishPod101 will be here with you for each step of your journey to Finnish mastery!

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Finnish Civil War & Memorial Day for the War Dead

Memorial Day for the War Dead

Memorial Day for the War Dead (also commonly referred to as Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers) is one of Finland’s most significant holidays. It seeks to commemorate Finland’s losses in various wars, as well as losses from the countries it fought. In particular, the Finnish Civil War sparked the idea for this day of commemoration in the war commander Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.

In this article, we’ll be going over what this holiday is and take a look at the wars this day seeks to commemorate. After reading this article, you’ll have a better grasp of Finland’s history and events leading up to its culture today, which is vital for any language-learner. At FinnishPod101.com, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is the Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers?

The Memorial Day for the War Dead, otherwise known as the Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers, is when Finland remembers those who lost their lives in Finnish wars. The idea was put into effect by the Finnish war commander Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim in 1940.

This holiday seeks to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the following Finnish wars:

  • Finnish Civil War — 1918
  • Finnish Winter War (also known as the Russo-Finnish War or Finnish Russian War) — 1939-1940
  • Finland Continuation War — 1941-1944
  • Lapland War — 1944

While these are the main focus of Memorial Day for the War Dead in Finland, note that Finns also died in the Heimosodat wars and during U.N. peacekeeping missions.

2. When is Memorial Day for the War Dead Observed?

Defending One's Country

The date of the Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers varies from year to year, though it’s always on the third Sunday in May. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s dates for the next ten years.

  • 2019: May 19
  • 2020: May 17
  • 2021: May 16
  • 2022: May 15
  • 2023: May 21
  • 2024: May 19
  • 2025: May 18
  • 2026: May 17
  • 2027: May 16
  • 2028: May 21

3. How is Memorial Day for the War Dead Celebrated?

Tomb Decorated with Flowers

Celebrations and commemoration activities aren’t extensive in Finland, though this holiday is close to Finns’ hearts. Typically, church services are held on Memorial Day for the War Dead. Following these services, Finns often visit the graves and tombs of fallen soldiers to pay their respects and to simply remember the sacrifice they made.

4. Additional Information on the Finnish Wars

Let’s look at each main war that we mentioned earlier, to give you a better idea of Finland’s history and what this day means to them.

1- Finnish Civil War (1918 )

After the Russian Empire collapsed in WWI, Finland—who was, up until that point, under Russia’s control—was left with a shaky structure of governance, as well as a power vacuum. This took place during a time of growth and improvement in Finland, a time when change was sought after and becoming increasingly necessary.

Germany planned to gain control of Finland with Russia’s collapse. The plan was to turn Finland into a monarchy under German control—called the Kingdom of Finland—seeing as Finland had fallen into Germany’s sphere of influence.

In the meantime, German and Finnish troops fought against the Russian Empire. 36,000 Finns lost their lives in the conflict. However, upon Germany’s loss in WWI, this plan never came to full fruition and was soon cancelled.

This allowed Finland to become an independent and democratic nation, despite the country’s inner turmoil and unease for decades after.

2- Finnish Winter War (1939-1940)

The Finnish Winter War began in 1939 when the Soviet Union invaded Finland in hopes of gaining territory which Finland had denied it. After this invasion, Finland had good fortune for about two months, being able to ward off the offensive forces until the Soviet Union gathered its bearings again.

Fortunately, the war didn’t last very long, though it was fought in very cold temperatures during the winter months. The League of Nations decided that the Soviet Union’s offensive invasion was illegal, and the Moscow Peace Treaty was signed not long after. The Winter War lasted for three-and-a-half months, and led to heavy losses and a few gains for both sides involved (Finland and the Soviet Union).

The Soviet Union ended up gaining much land from Finland (eleven percent of it), but lost good standing in the eyes of other countries, not to mention that its military was exposed as being fairly weak and ineffective. Finland lost much land and had difficulty during the war attaining enough supplies and support, but gained a higher standing in the eyes of other countries after the Moscow Peace Treaty.

In St. Petersburg, there’s a monument dedicated to those lost during this war.

3- Finland Continuation War (1941-1944)

Not long after The Winter War, Finland once again fought against the Soviet Union. Germany served as a co-belligerent to Finland, having started the first battle against the USSR. The top three reasons for the war’s beginning are:

  • Regaining territory lost during The Winter War
  • Liberating Karelia
  • Expanding Finland to become “Greater Finland”

Ultimately, The Continuation War was a failure, ending in ceasefire.

In 1944, the Moscow Armistice was signed. The war resulted in the loss of 63,200 Finns, as well as 158,000 Finns with injuries.

4- Lapland War (1944-1945)

The Moscow Armistice signed to end the previous war posed a condition that led to the Lapland War between Finland and Nazi Germany: all German troops had to leave Finnish territory. This condition was made in light of the Soviet Vyborg—Petrozavodsk Offensive which took place in 1944.

The German evacuations were met with few problems at first, until the Soviet Union told Finland it needed to force the Germans out more effectively, as well demobilize the Finnish Army. As a result, Finland fought a few battles against Germany until most of the German forces had reached Norway (which it occupied at the time). In 1945, all of the German troops had left Finland.

WWII ended shortly after.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers

Candle for Grave

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Finnish Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers!

  • Sotilas — “Soldier”
  • Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim — “Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim”
  • Puolustaa — “Defend”
  • Sota — “War”
  • Hautakynttilä — “Grave candle”
  • Kaatua — “Fall”
  • Rauhanturvaaja — “Peacekeeper”
  • Sankarivainaja — “Hero of the deceased”
  • Menehtynyt — “Perished”
  • Leski — “Widow”
  • Sankarihauta — “Hero’s tomb”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Finnish Commemoration Day of Fallen Soldiers vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Which event mentioned in this article do you think was the most interesting? Does your country have a holiday that honors those fallen in war? Let us know in the comments! We always love hearing from you.

To learn more about the culture in Finland and the Finnish language, visit us at FinnishPod101.com and take advantage of our numerous and effective learning tools. From insightful blog posts to free vocabulary lists and an online community forum, there’s something here for every learner! You can also create (or upgrade to) a Premium Plus account to begin using our MyTeacher program, where you can learn Finnish one-on-one with your own personal Finnish teacher.

We hope you took away something valuable from this article, and that you feel more knowledgeable about this aspect of Finnish history. Know that your hard work will pay off; before you know it, you’ll be speaking like a native Finn!

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How to Celebrate Easter in Finland

The Monday after Easter (Easter Monday) is Finland’s largest celebration during the Easter week. It’s a day of Finnish Easter pudding and more delicious traditional Finnish Easter food. However, it’s also a day of great religious significance for Finland’s Christian population. From its more religious celebrations to Easter witches, Easter in Finland is a delight!

Learn about Finland Easter traditions and more information about Easter in Finland with FinnishPod101.com! We hope to make learning about Finnish Easter both fun and informative; after all, cultural knowledge is a vital aspect of learning any language! So let’s get started.

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1. What is Easter Monday in Finland?

Easter, which is celebrated in-between March and April in Finland, is the oldest and most important Christian holiday.

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, but many Easter traditions of the Finns were originally pagan and are associated with the longer days. Easter week, which is also known as Silent Week, starts with Palm Sunday. The Easter holidays consist of Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday.

2. When is Easter Monday?

Daffodil Against White Background

The date of Easter Monday in Finland varies from year to year. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: April 22
  • 2020: April 13
  • 2021: April 5
  • 2022: April 18
  • 2023: April 10
  • 2024: April 1
  • 2025: April 21
  • 2026: April 6
  • 2027: March 29
  • 2028: April 17

3. Reading Practice: How is Celebrated?

Large Festive Dinner

How is Easter celebrated in Finland? Read the Finnish text below to find out (and find the English translation directly below it)!

Palmusunnuntaina lapset pukeutuvat pääsiäisnoidiksi ja lähtevät naapurustoon virpomaan, mukanaan koristelemansa värikkäät pajunoksat. Virpoja toivottaa onnea ja terveyttä pajunoksia heiluttamalla ja lausumalla samaan aikaan virpomislorun. Palkaksi pienet noidat saavat yleensä suklaamunia tai muita makeisia. Koristellut pajunoksat symboloivat palmusunnuntain palmunlehviä ja kevään saapumista. Pajunkissoja ja koivunoksia laitetaan myös kodeissa maljakkoon esille, sekä rairuohoa kasvatetaan kevään ja elämän juhlistamiseksi.

Mämmi on kaikista perinteisin suomalainen pääsiäisherkku. Se on imellettyä, makeaa ruispuuroa, joka valmistetaan ruismaltaasta ja ruisjauhoista. Mämmi tarjoillaan yleensä kuohukerman, maidon tai vaniljajäätelön kanssa. Pasha puolestaan on rahkajälkiruoka, joka on levinnyt suomalaisten pääsiäispöytiin ortodoksien perinteestä. Pääsiäiseen kuuluvat myös pieniä leluja sisältävät suklaamunat ja pääsiäisrakeet. Suolaisia herkkuja ovat erilaiset lammas- ja kalaruoat, verimakkara ja uunijuusto.

Aiemmin uskottiin, että juuri pääsiäisenä hyvät ja pahat voimat taistelevat keskenään. Savun ja kipinöiden uskottiin karkottavan noitia ja pahoja henkiä, joten pääsiäislauantaina sytytettiin suuria rovioita, eli pääsiäiskokkoja.

On Palm Sunday, children dress up as Easter witches and go around the neighborhood to do virpominen, carrying colorful willow branches they have decorated themselves. The person conducting the virpominen, known as the virpoja, gives wishes of happiness and good health while waving the willow branches, and reciting a rhyme called virpomisloru, to the receiver. As a reward, the little witches usually receive chocolate eggs or other sweets. The embellished willow branches symbolize the palm leaves from Palm Sunday and the arrival of spring. Willow catkins and birch twigs are also placed in a vase in homes, and Easter rye grass is grown to celebrate spring and life.

Mämmi is the most traditional Finnish Easter delicacy. It is malted, sweet rye porridge which is prepared from rye malts and rye flour. Mämmi is usually served with whipped cream, milk, or vanilla ice cream. Pasha, in turn, is a curd dessert that has spread to Finnish Easter tables from the Orthodox tradition. Chocolate eggs that contain small toys and Easter drops are also a part of Easter. Savory delicacies include different kinds of lamb and fish dishes, blood sausage, and baked cheese.

It was previously believed that during Easter, good and evil forces would fight each other. Smoke and sparks were believed to expel witches and evil spirits, so large stakes and Easter bonfires were lit on Easter Saturday.

4. Additional Information

Do you know any other names the “Holy Week” can go by?
Holy Week is also known as a Silent Week or Torment Week, and each day has its own special name, Palm Sunday, Beam Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday.

5. Must-know Finnish Vocab for Easter Monday

Purple Easter eggs in Ryegrass

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Easter Monday in Finland!

  • Tipu — “Chick”
  • Kristinusko — “Christianity”
  • Toinen pääsiäispäivä — “Easter Monday”
  • Ilmestyä — “Appear”
  • Opetuslapsi — “Disciple”
  • Vapaapäivä — “Day off”
  • Juhla-ateria — “Festive dinner
  • Narsissi — “Daffodil”
  • Rairuoho — “Ryegrass
  • Koivunoksa — “Birch twig”
  • Ylösnousemus — “Resurrection”

To hear each word pronounced, check out our Finnish Easter Monday vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think about the Finnish celebration of Easter? Are Easter celebrations similar in your country, or different? Let us know in the comments!

To learn even more about Finnish culture and the language, visit us at FinnishPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Finnish learners. You can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Finnish with your own personal teacher, by upgrading to a Premium Plus account!

All of your efforts will soon reap rewards, and you’ll be speaking like a native in no time! And we’ll be here to teach you and support you all the way there! Best wishes and happy Easter (be sure to enjoy some Finnish chocolate Easter eggs for us)!

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Runeberg Paiva: Celebrate the Day of Johan Ludvig Runeberg!

Day of Johan Ludvig Runeberg

Johan Ludvig Runeberg was Swedish-Finnish and is known for his writing and poetry. He was born on February 5, 1804 and died on May 6, 1877. Runeberg rose to the status of Finland’s national poet during his lifetime, due to his work being very “patriotic,” or isänmaallinen.

Runeberg has received numerous awards for his work and is highly honored in Finnish culture. Thus, by learning about Runeberg Paiva you’ll get a nice look at Finland’s history and its values. It’s our wish at FinnishPod101.com to help you learn all you need to know about Finnish culture, and this famous Finnish poet is no exception.

So, who was Runeberg and what is Runeberg Paiva?

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1. What is the Day of J.L. Runeberg?

Runeberg’s best-known work is “The Tales of Ensign Stål,” or in Finnish Vänrikki Stoolin tarinat, which is a collection of Johan Ludvig Runeberg poems which commemorate the Finnish war. The opening poem of the work was later composed to become the “Finnish national anthem,” or Suomen kansallislaulu, called Maamme which means “Our Land.”

Runeberg’s poems were written in Swedish and dealt largely with life in rural Finland. Another famous poem of his, “Bonden Paavo,” or “Farmer Paavo,” is about a poor farmer who persevered despite years of difficult climates and poor harvests. The farmer fights off starvation by mixing bark into his bread. After several years, he finally reaps a rich harvest. Despite assurances from God that he can now eat bread made solely from grain, the farmer continues to mix bark into his bread in order to share the bounty with his struggling neighbor.

Runeberg has received numerous national accolades including a day dedicated in his honor. Runeberg’s home, located in the center of Porvoo, was the first museum house in Finland. In addition, a number of monuments and memorials have been erected in his honor, and numerous streets, squares, and parks have been named after him.

For example, there is a Runeberg street in Helsinki and a Runeberg park in his birth city of Jakobstad. One of Finland’s most prominent “literary awards,” or kirjallisuuspalkinto in Finnish, the Runeberg Prize, was also established in his honor.

Further, Runeberg has been memorialized with a commemorative coin to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth. The coin was minted in 2004, and features Runeberg’s portrait on one side and a font from a Swedish newspaper on the reverse.

Thus, it’s clear why Runeberg is so highly regarded by the Finnish people. Enough so that there’s a day held each year in his honor: The Day of J.L. Runeberg or Runeberg Paiva.

2. When is it?

February 5

Each year, the Finnish people celebrate the famous Finnish poet J.L. Runeberg on the date of his birth, February 5.

3. How is it Celebrated?

Runeberg Tarts

Runeberg’s Day is a well-established “flag day,” or liputuspäivä. Literary-themed events are held this day at places such as bookstores and cafes. Further, the Runeberg Prize mentioned earlier is fittingly awarded on this day in Porvoo.

A well-known way to celebrate the day is to eat “Runeberg tarts,” or Runebergintorttuja, which are sweet pastries said to have been Runeberg’s favorite treat. The baked goods are usually available in grocery stores and cafes from January up until the day of J.L. Runeberg. Some of the cafes in Porvoo offer the pastries all year round.

The cylindrical shaped, arrack- or rum-flavored tarts contain wheat flour, bread crumbs, cookie crumbs, and almonds, and they are decorated with raspberry jam and icing. (Do we need to wait until Runeberg Paiva to eat these?!)

4. Additional Information

It’s said that Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s wife, Fredrika Runeberg, developed the pastry mentioned above for her sweet-toothed husband from whatever ingredients she could find in the pantry.

She was also a distinguished writer; she was the first Finnish historical novel writer, achieving popularity through her short stories as well as her novels. Talk about a great match!

4. Reading Practice: Fredrika Runeberg

Learn more about Johan Runeberg’s wife in the Finnish text below (the English translation is below):

  • Myös Johan Ludvig Runebergin vaimo Fredrika Runeberg oli ansioitunut kirjailija. Hän oli ensimmäisiä suomalaisia historiallisen romaanin kirjoittajia. Romaanien lisäksi hän saavutti suosiota lyhyillä kertomuksillaan.
  • Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s wife, Fredrika Runeberg, was also a distinguished writer. She was the first Finnish historical novel writer, achieving popularity through her short stories as well as her novels.

It’s also said that Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s wife developed Runeberg tarts for her sweet-toothed husband from whatever ingredients she could find in the pantry. Yum!

5. Must-know Vocab

Man Sitting at Typewriter with Drink

Here’s some vocabulary for you to go over in order to fully understand this Finnish holiday and celebrate it to its fullest.

  • päivä — “day”
  • runoilija — “poet”
  • kirjailija — “writer”
  • toimittaja — “journalist”
  • kansallisrunoilija — “national poet”
  • kansallislaulu — “national anthem”
  • torttu — “tart”
  • manteli — “almond”
  • rommi — “rum”
  • liputuspäivä — “Flag Day”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, be sure to check out our Finnish J.L. Runeberg Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied with an audio file so you can listen while you read.

Conclusion

As you can see, Johan Ludvig Runeberg was one of the most influential Finnish writers and his work holds great significance to the Finnish people. Thus, J.L. Runeberg Day is widely celebrated and held in reverence by many Fins.

What do you think about Runeberg and the Finns’ celebration of him? Is there a famous writer or other influential person your country celebrates? Let us know in the comments!

For more information on Finnish culture, visit us at FinnishPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, vocabulary lists on a variety of topics, and even an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Finnish learners! You can even download our MyTeacher app to take advantage of a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal language teacher.

We hope you enjoyed learning about this Finnish holiday, and that you’ll enjoy making Runeberg tarts even more! Until next time, good luck in your language-learning!

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How to Say Happy New Year in Finnish & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Finnish New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join FinnishPod101 for a special Finnish New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Finnish

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Finnish? Let a native teach you! At FinnishPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Finnish New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Finland
  2. Must-Know Finnish Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Finnish
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You Learn Finnish

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Finnish New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Finland

Like everywhere in the world, in Finland the New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year. In Finland, the New Year celebration is focused mainly on New Year’s Eve or uudenvuodenaatto, that is, on the last day of December. New Year’s Day, uudenvuodenpäivä, on January 1, is a public holiday, when many people wind down at home with their families.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-

Do you know what dishes are typically associated with Finnish New Year?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

Shops and offices typically close earlier than usual on New Year’s Eve, after which it’s time to concentrate on the celebrations for the coming year. Given Finns’ great love for saunas, relaxing in a sauna is often a vital part of a New Year’s Eve program in Finland. Many go to restaurants and clubs to celebrate the New Year, while more formal New Year’s celebrations include the opera and the theater.

Some highlights of New Year’s celebrations include pewter casting, or tinan valaminen, and fireworks, or ilotulitteet. The horseshoe-shaped pewter pieces are melted in a metal ladle, after which the melted pewter is dropped into snow or water where it solidifies into a statuette. People observe the interesting shapes the statuette takes on, and use them to try to make predictions for the coming year. For example, a piece in the shape of a ship may foretell travel, and a lace-like surface may predict money. The fireworks portion of the festivities are greatly loved by all, especially children. In Finland, fireworks are allowed to be set off only between 6 pm and 2 am on the night of New Year’s Eve.

Shops are closed during New Year’s Day, allowing everyone to spend the day peacefully with their families. The president of Finland also gives a traditional New Year’s speech, which is broadcast live on TV. Many Finns choose to watch the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert on television. Making New Year’s resolutions or uudenvuodenlupaus, on New Year’s Day is one of the most popular traditions, encouraging people to look forward to the upcoming year. Resolutions usually revolve around changing bad habits, starting new hobbies, or setting goals.

In the past, Finns celebrated the New Year as “Kekri,” a feast of harvest, during October or November. At the time, people would try to predict the future by throwing a bath whisk on the roof of a sauna, or by throwing hay on the roof purlins. The direction where the bath whisk would point would predict the future; if the stem was pointing towards the town church and graveyard, death was expected. But if the leaves were pointing towards the church, it meant marriage for the unmarried, and happiness for the married. On some occasions the stem was thought to point in the direction of the house of one’s future spouse. A similar tradition held that when a bundle of hay was thrown towards the roof purlins, one would ask a question at the same time—if most of the hay stayed on the purlins, the answer would be “yes”, if most of it fell back on the floor, the answer would be “no”.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

Do you know what dishes are typically associated with Finnish New Year?

The New Year is not a time to get stressed about cooking, so people try to focus on easy and delicious food instead. Surprisingly, potato salad and wieners are a primary part of the New Year’s menu for many Finns! The drink of choice is, of course, sparkling wine or champagne!

Happy New Year!
Hyvää uutta vuotta!

2. Must-Know Finnish Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Finnish Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

vuosi

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Finland could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

keskiyö

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

uudenvuodenpäivä

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

juhla

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

tanssi

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

samppanja

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

ilotulitus

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

Happy Near Year!

8- Countdown

lähtölaskenta

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

uudenvuodenloma

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

konfetti

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

uudenvuodenaatto

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

nostaa malja

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

uudenvuodenlupaus

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

paraati

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At FinnishPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Finnish New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Finnish word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at FinnishPod101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Finnish friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Lukea enemmän.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Finnish in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Finnish language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Viettää enemmän aikaa perheen kanssa.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Laihtua.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Säästää rahaa.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to FinnishPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Lopettaa tupakoinnin.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Oppia jotain uutta.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Juoda vähemmän.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Harrastaa liikuntaa säännöllisesti.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Syödä terveellisesti.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Finnish with FinnishPod101

Opiskelen suomea FinnishPod101.comin kanssa.

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Finnish, especially with us! Learning how to speak Finnish can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. FinnishPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Finnish new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Finnish, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Finnish incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with FinnishPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Finnish could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Finnish - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Finnish - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with FinnishPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Finnish! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that FinnishPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Finnish at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Finnish that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Finnish with FinnishPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Finnish

How to Say Merry Christmas in Finnish

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Finnish? FinnishPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Finnish Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Finnish speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, FinnishPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Finnish!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Finland
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How FinnishPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Finland

Christmas Words in Finnish

Christmas is an ancient celebration and an especially important time of the year for Finns. In Finland, people prepare for Christmas celebrations for a long time, and the main holiday is Christmas Eve, or jouluaatto, recognized on December 24. There are many traditions associated with Christmas.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-

Do you know how the scouts are related to Christmas in Finland?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

The Finns prepare for Christmas in a variety of different ways. Homes are decorated, for example, with Christmas-themed textiles, decorations and Christmas flowers. Typical Christmas flowers include poinsettia, hyacinth, tulips, and Christmas roses. Sending Christmas cards, or joulukortti, to friends and family is also a long-held tradition. In fact, over 50 million Christmas cards are sent in Finland each year.

The anticipation for the Christmas holiday culminates on Christmas Eve. Christmas Peace, or joulurauha, is declared in many cities at 12 o’clock, when all the local shops close their doors. The most famous is the Turku Declaration of Christmas Peace, which is also broadcasted live on TV and on radio, from the city of Turku. On Christmas Eve, most people take the opportunity to enjoy a Christmas sauna, decorate the Christmas tree, and have a festive dinner and exchange presents with their family. Many families with children are visited by Santa Claus, in Finnish called joulupukki.

Some Christian families attend a ceremonial Christmas church event early in the morning on Christmas Day. In the olden days, the trip to the church was made in a sleigh pulled by horses. Christmas Day is a time to quiet down and spend time with the family, and the highlight of the occasion is of course Christmas dinner. Dishes on the Finnish Christmas menu include carrot, rutabaga and potato casseroles, and a variety of fish dishes, such as cold-smoked salmon, gravlax and raw-spiced whitefish. One should also not forget the Christmas ham or turkey and the rosolli salad. Christmas tarts, gingerbreads, and assorted chocolates are also frequently enjoyed during Christmas.

Many people across the world believe that the real Santa Claus lives in Korvatunturi, a fell in Finnish Lapland. Every year, he receives over 700,000 letters from all over the world, but most come from the UK, Poland, Italy, Finland and France.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

Do you know how the scouts are related to Christmas in Finland?

Finnish scouts brought the tradition of an Advent calendar, or adventtikalenteri, from Sweden to Finland. With the help of the calendar, Finnish children count the days until Christmas. The first scouts’ calendar appeared in 1947 and it was designed by Ulla von Wend.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Hyvää Joulua!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Finnish? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Hyvää kwanzaa!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Onnellista uutta vuotta!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Hyvää hanukkaa!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Hyvää talvilomaa!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Nähdään ensi vuonna!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

Lämpimiä toiveita!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Finnish Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Hyvää juhlakautta!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Finnish, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Nauti lomasta!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Finnish, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

Onnea uudelle vuodelle!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Finnish! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At FinnishPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

joulu

This is the Finnish word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Finnish will include this word!

2- Snow

lumi

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

lumihiutale

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

lumiukko

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

kalkkuna

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

seppele

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

poro

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Joulupukki

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

tonttu

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Petteri Punakuono

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

pohjoisnapa

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

kelkka

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

lahja

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

kello

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

savupiippu

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

takka

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

joulupäivä

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

koriste

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

joulusukka

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

orjanlaakeri

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

piparkakkutalo

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

karkkitanko

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

mistelinoksa

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Finnish, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Finnish! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

6. FinnishPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

Visit FinnishPod101!

We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Finnish for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Finnish, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, FinnishPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Finnish. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in FinnishPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!