Wednesday, December 19, 2012

pre-Christmas hurry in Finland

Finally today I write the 1st December post in this blog. Last weeks were surprisingly hurry.
There is a tradition of pikkujoulu in Finland. Literally it means "small Christmas".
Pikkujoulu is a pre-Christmas party organized by seems like every workplace, company, office, school, kindergarten or club. The character of the party can differ, but you can always expect to taste there some glögi (mulled wine) and piparkakut (ginger biscuits). Commonly pre-Christmas parties include traditional Finnish Christmas food like Christmas ham, rosolli (salad with boiled beetroots, potatoes, carrots, apples and pickled cucumber) and the potato, carrot, rutabaga and liver casseroles. The pikkujoulu season starts already in November.
My 3 years old son attended pikkujoulu in the kindergarten, where kids were i.a. singing, making Christmas decorations and baking ginger biscuits. My 7 years old son had pikkujoulu at school, another one arranged by the Polish school and the 3rd one with his colleagues from the wrestling trainings.  
There was also pikkujoulu arranged by our neighbours, financed by the housing company.
You do not need to be very social to be invited to some pikkujoulu. It is enough to be a part of some society or group of people, and actually everyone belongs to some group for which pikkujoulu is arranged. There are also open pre-Christmas parties for everyone. 
Another pre-Christmas event is "Kauneimmat Joululaulut" - traditional Finnish carol service held at the Lutheran churches. There is also tradition of the Christmas markets, where you can buy Christmas decorations, handcraft, food, sweets etc.
The streets and many houses are decorated with the Christmas lights. Santa Clause will visit us on the Christmas Eve, so the shopping centres are extremely busy. Cleaning and decoration of the house, sending Christmas wishes to family and friends, buying gifts and the Christmas tree ... sometimes I feel like it is too much to do before Christmas, but from the other side I think that the events and duties to fulfill during the Advent season keep people awake in these dark cold days.

No comments:

Post a Comment