Lapland is the northern-most and largest region of Finland. Its capital, Rovaniemi, is home to Father Christmas. Well for most of the year - before he disappears off to a secret location on 23rd December in preparation for his most important job!
Since 1985, Father Christmas has apparently received 15 million letters from 198 countries. They are all posted to the Santa Claus Main Post Office in Rovaniemi, operated by Posti – Finland’s national postal service. Any letter sent from this post office is stamped with a special Arctic Circle postmark, not available anywhere else.
A region characterised by contrasts, Lapland experiences 24 hour sunlit summers followed by months of dark winter days; and bustling, cultural towns lie just minutes away from peaceful, vast wilderness. And its people enjoy steaming saunas followed by freezing cold ice baths.
Once the snow falls, it’s the closest you can get to a real winter wonderland. And Father Christmas isn’t its only iconic resident. Finnish Lapland is home to a whopping 190,000 reindeers and is one of the prime places to witness the visually stunning Northern Lights, which appear across the region at least 200 nights a year.
Lapland is also the home of Europe’s only indigenous people – an Artic tribe called the Sami. Many of Finland’s mythical stories stem from their ancient animistic beliefs that all objects have a soul. Rocks and trees, foxes and reindeer, the Northern Lights in the sky and the knife in the reindeer herder’s hand all carry knowledge and wisdom within.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Father Christmas himself who, as ‘Visit Rovaniemi' says, recognises his responsibilities as perhaps the world’s most famous person. Commenting on their website he says he is, “an ambassador of good will, love and peace” and wishes nothing but happiness to the people of the world.
The vastness of Lapland is said to make a person feel very small. But being able to wander in this wilderness with nothing but your thoughts is a key part of the country’s attraction. Visit Finland says it’s ideal for soul searching and finding your place in life, “nature works wonders for the weary and confused mind and a feeling of being one with nature is still among one of the most empowering feelings humans can experience”.
You too could get to experience Finnish Lapland by winning a week’s holiday to meet Father Christmas with Reima – just click here to find out how.
Reima is an outdoor brand that was founded in Finland in 1944 and is now the leading Nordic brand for functional children’s wear. The company has over 70 years of experience in producing kids’ clothes that beat tough climates, and is devoted to guaranteeing children the freedom to be active and play outdoors, feeling comfortable, all year round, in any weather.
Function, safety, reliability and innovation are fundamental to Reima’s design. All materials and products are carefully tested, not only in laboratory tests, but also by the world’s most honest and ruthless testing team – children themselves!