So Joulupukki, Weihnachtsmann and Djed Mraz walk into a Coca-Cola store…

Who are these guys? Is this a paid promotional post? Why are all these people always walking into somewhere in your posts Matija?

Read on and find out!

If you’ve been following my blogs carefully (which you should have!), you probably know that I’m no longer in Tampere unfortunately. However, this did not stop my friends and I to make full use of the fact that we live in 21st century and get together for one last meeting, this time on Skype.

Since we’re only 6 days away from Christmas, Janika suggested that we make Holidays the topic of our last, virtual meeting. And since Finland is Santa’s home, there could hardly be a better topic for this time of the year.

Unlike with many other countries, Santa does not have to travel far on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to people in Finland. If he can’t deliver them personally, he will leave them under the Christmas tree. Funny enough, the word Joulupukki actually means “Christmas Goat”, and if you’ve not been good this year, you might get a bag of coal instead of presents. To wish somebody a Merry Christmas in Finland, you would say “Hyvää Joulua”! Unlike in some other cultures, Christmas Eve is the most important day of the holiday season. People traditionally eat rice porridge and plum fruit juce for breakfast, then decorate the tree. At noon, city mayor of Turku broadcasts a “Peace of Christmas” on radio and TV.

Similar to Finland, Christmas is widely celebrated in Austria as well. It’s very common for even small towns to have “Christkindlmarkt”, the traditional Christmas markets, along with large Christmas trees. Most people tune into the radio station Ö3 during Christmas eve, which plays holiday music from 4 pm on the “Heilige Abend”. Unlike in Finland though, some children also get presents a bit sooner, on December the 6th, from St. Nicholas. A fish meal called “Gebackener Karpfen” is a very common dish on the Christmas eve, but more and more people are eating roast turkey as well. Austrians who live in mountain areas traditionally go skiing on Christmas day. One of the most famous holiday events in the world is held in Vienna, and is called “NeuJahrsKonzert”, a classical music concert. It is broadcasted on TV stations around the world.

With this in mind, I wish everyone happy holidays, and I hope you spend them with the people you care about the most.

And of course, don’t forget to drink Coca Cola!



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