How Finland prepares for Christmas
As we gear up for the holiday season, most of us starts cleaning our homes and prepare the house for our loved ones and visitors. There are many things to prepare and to buy before joining together for the Christmas meal. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the Finnish Christmas.
A real Christmas tree indoors
Did you know that Finns absolutely adore real Christmas trees? They prefer trees that come from the traditional Finnish forest fir because the scent it emits creates a warm and fuzzy feeling of Christmas. While it used to be a tradition to bring the tree indoors on Christmas Eve, nowadays people buy their trees earlier. To keep your tree in tip-top shape, it's best to store it outside until it's ready to come inside. Once it's in your home, make sure to give it plenty of water to keep it looking healthy and beautiful throughout the holiday season!
Baking Delicacies on the day before Christmas Eve
Can you imagine celebrating Christmas without the traditional gingerbread cookies? Baking gingerbread cookies is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy together. You can shape the dough into any figure you like and decorate them with colorful icing. The more creative you are, the better the cookies will look! Also, if you're feeling extra adventurous, why not try building a gingerbread house? The possibilities are endless! Just make sure to bake enough for Christmas Eve because eating them is also quite fun.
Ham Monitoring in the evening before Christmas Eve
Did you know that during the holiday season in Finland, many people like to bake traditional Christmas Ham? You can find different sizes of hams in grocery stores, with or without bones. However, it's important to keep an eye on the ham while it's cooking in the oven for several hours. In Finnish, the tradition of supervising the ham is called "kinkun valvojaiset". So, make sure that someone is at home to watch over the ham and prevent any grease fires. Also, don't forget to dispose of the ham fat properly by cooling it in a bio-waste container instead of pouring it down the drain. It's a small but important step towards a safe and happy holiday season!
Christmas porridge on Christmas morning
Did you know that rice porridge is not just a traditional morning dish? It is so delicious that you can enjoy it any time of the day. To prepare it, mix some rice with whole milk, and then add cinnamon and sugar. Indulge in its creamy goodness! Here's a fun fact: don't forget to put an almond inside the porridge because whoever finds it gets to make a Christmas wish, as it brings good luck. Sounds like a sweet deal, right?
Warm up with Christmas glögi
Are you familiar with Glögi? It's an absolute must-have during Christmas time! It's a warm, cozy drink that's usually served before the Christmas meal or after you've been out in the cold for too long. It's basically a Finnish version of mulled wine and it comes in a traditional red color, but nowadays, you can even find it in lighter colors too. You'll usually find it served with delicious almonds and raisins.
The Finnish Christmas table tradition is a blend of influences from both nobles and peasants. Even today, most Finns love the traditional Christmas delicacies that are typically only available during the holiday season, such as Christmas casseroles, rosolli, Christmas ham, various types of fish, ginger-baked cookies, glögi, and Christmas pastries.
As foreigners living in Finland, we also enjoy incorporating our own cultural and culinary traditions into the mix. Let's celebrate Christmas with a blend of both traditional and modern elements and enjoy the holiday season with love and togetherness.