Finnish way of Christmas

A holiday is an amazing time when we can be with our friends and family; when we have good feelings and smiles on our faces. We give gifts and sing Christmas songs. Also, this a good time for traditional delicious meal =)

In Finland, the celebrations of Christmas start before the official date. Companies organize Pikkujoulu (Small Christmas) in November and at the beginning of December. It is a good reason to meet with colleagues, to round up the year. There are many places for those celebrations: restaurants, rent houses, hotels, company’s entities and so on. All employees receive gifts and warm wishes from managers and colleagues.

After the workday, after the exam period we are all waiting for magic holiday days. Christmas is celebrated on 24-25th of December in Finland. Buying good piece of Christmas ham is a must do before that.

Typically, Christmas dinner is eaten on the Christmas Eve, December 24th. Traditionally, dinner includes the following menu: root vegetable casseroles (carrot, rutabaga), rosolli salad, liver casserole, gravlax or smoked salmon, herring, pâtés and the main dish are oven-baked ham. Dessert is very popular and famous is Christmas pastries (Joulutortut), gingerbread cookies (Piparkakut) and Christmas glöggi. Moreover, it can be Christmas cake (joulukakku) and a lot of candies! It is really good time to taste traditional cuisine.

As for me, I cook oven-baked ham for Christmas. I can tell you a secret on how to calculate the right time for making juicy ham. It’s very simple, for 1 kg of ham = 1 hour in the oven (175 C) and then you get it out. Afterwards, clear the skin from fat and use some mustard for the coating together with dried breadcrumbs, and then let it bake for around 20 minutes (225 C) until brownish crumbs. Moreover, I like carrot casserole and without that food some of the Christmas feeling are not full and will be missed. We prepared rosolli, it seems like our famous salad of beetroot (Russian salad) very tasty and easily cooked. My favourite one is the mushroom salad and potato salad with reindeer meat. Salmon rolls stuffed with cream cheese are also very delicious. Also, don’t forget about candies, desserts and warm glöggi with raisins and almonds!!!

 However, the most important part is to be with friends and family, to give presents, sing, laugh, take pictures and spend this time not thinking about any problems. I wish You Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

 Written by Olga Paykacheva, BIT-student

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