Greetings from Finland!
As winter nears, the days shorten in Helsinki. In northern Lapland the polar night begins in November and the sun will next be seen in January!
In contrast to the darkness, the snow shines white. The dark sky is brightened by the silvery moon, golden stars, and colourful northern lights. Animals and people change into their cozy black and white winter coats. Also the table settings tend to favour black and white versions of Arabia's series, such as Paratiisi, Krokus or Sipuli.
Lakes and streams freeze and soft white snow covers the ground. It's time to enjoy winter. Skis, sleds and skates are brought from storage.
In Raija Uosikkinen’s Christmas wall plates people are rushing around to complete their Christmas preparations, yet still find time for children and winter sports amidst picturesque little Finnish towns and villages.
In freezing cold weather a hot drink from our favorite mug feels extra tasty. Are you a lover of the playful seasonal Moomin mugs like many of us Finns or do you prefer other decorations?
Finnish nature has inspired designers. Crystalline white snow and ice with its reflections are good examples of the special features of Finnish tableware design. You can see the effect e.g. in glasses designed by Tapio Wirkkala, such as Ultima Thule or Aslak.
Lights and candles, as well as, festive table settings glow in silver and gold.
The opposite of all the monochrome black and white are the colours and lights of Christmas. Finnish people love Christmas. For Finns, waiting for Christmas is an event in itself. We start counting the days from the beginning of December, Joulukuu, using an advent calendar and tell stories about Santa Claus and his elves. We clean and decorate our homes by adding traditional Christmas colours: red, green, and gold as we set our tables.
Christmas decorations, for example cute little Aarikka Christmas elves or tealights in colourful votives are laid around the Finnish homes to create a warm cozy feeling at home as temperature outside drops below zero.
Christmas time in Finland is full of memories and traditions, this is also why vintage dishware is used in festive settings. The most important thing then is not the colour or style of the decoration but shared memories of good moments spent around the table enjoying these vintage dishes time and again.
As the days get shorter and colder. We drink a lot of coffee and mulled wine, and enjoy traditional Christmas treats like joulutorttu (christmas tarts) and piparkakku (gingerbread).
The sweet scents of Christmas flowers, candles and the Christmas tree are mixed with the delicious aromas of Christmas delicacies and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
We look for presents particularly for children and our loved ones, but also remember those, who are alone or in need. Here in our Shop for the Winter we have hand-picked some of our favourite products for the wintertime season. Find something special for your home from Finland, Santa’s home country!
The Winter holidays in Finland:
Finland's Independence Day (6.12) is the day to honour those who built our country and kept it safe for over 100 years. Finnish people enjoy a festive dinner decorated with white and blue. Two candles are lit on each window. The highlight of the evening is the celebration of the Presidential Palace, to which notable persons in Finland are invited. People watch the celebrations on TV and have fun commenting and rating the beautiful dresses.
We naturally associate blue and white with our home country and the Finnish flag, but the colour combination is also fresh, homely and in a good way modest, familiar, and safe. You can explore blue and white dishes in our Shop for Blue and White collection
Celebrating Christmas Eve (24.12) traditionally includes decorating a Christmas tree, bathing in a Christmas sauna, eating a Christmas meal with the family and giving Christmas presents. Most families sing or listen to Christmas carols or hymns.
Christmas Day (25.12) in Christian families started with early church services and lighting a candle at the cemetery. It is a holiday traditionally spent at home.
The Second Christmas Day (26.12) is a joyful day to meet relatives and friends. It is also the day for winter activities, circus and dancing.
New Year’s Eve and Day (31.12-1.1) The New Year is one of the biggest holidays in Finland. New Year's fun includes eating potato salad and sausages, and toasting with sparkling wine. We make promises of doing things better in the starting new year and predict our futures by casting tin. We dance and admire fireworks (‘ilotulitus’ in Finnish literally means the firing of joy!). New Year's Day celebrations are usually more formal with candle light dinners.
Epiphany ‘Loppiainen’ (6.1) is the last day of the Christmas season for most Finns. This is the day for taking out the Christmas tree and packing away the Christmas decorations. So in fact, we celebrate the coming of the New Year with the seasonal colours of Christmas time.
On Runeberg’s Day (5.2) we celebrate our national poet with coffee and enjoy the delicious raspberry jam-filled almond tarts known as ‘Runebergin torttu’.
In Finland, Valentine's (14.2) is not just a celebration for couples, but a holiday for all friends! We call it Ystävänpäivä (Friends Day). On this day, cards and small gifts will be given to friends and colleagues; and of course, we try to impress the woman or man we like, with flowers and chocolate.
Christian traditions Shrove Sunday (27.2) and Shrove Tuesday (1.3), are celebrated in Finland with Laskiainen (Winter Sliding Festival). We enjoy the snowy hills glittering the spring sunlight and have fun sledding. Afterwards, we drink hot cocoa and gobble up delicious Laskiaispulla buns. Finns playfully argue over which is the correct traditional filling: almond paste or raspberry jam?
On Kalevala Day (28.2), we celebrate the tradition of Finnish literature and culture. On this day you might want to explore the Arabia vintage wall plates inspired by the Kalevala stories.
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