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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Finland Series at FinnishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Finnish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 2, Christmas. In Finnish, it’s called joulu.
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 listening.
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.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What kind of Christmas traditions do you have in your country? Have you written letters to Santa Claus?
Leave us a comment at FinnishPod101.com, and see you again in the next class!

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FinnishPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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What kind of Christmas traditions do you have in your country? Have you written letters to Santa Claus?

Thursday at 6:05 am
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Olen varma, että joulupukki pitää salaisuudet turvassa!
Jos teit toivomuksen, toivon että se toteutuu! 😉

Päivi
Team FinnishPod101.com

Monday at 6:35 pm
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Olen jo lähettää hänelle salainen😜
( I already have to send him my secret )