Ever wonder where Santa Claus’s north pole home is actually located? Well, Rovaniemi, Finland makes a pretty credible case, claiming themselves as the official home to Santa.
A number of characteristics of our Santa myths (a.k.a. “Father Christmas”) appear to’ve been adopted from Sápmi (a region of Norway, Sweden, Finland and part of Russia often referred to as “Lapland”) and its indigenous people, the Saami. Rovaniemi is well within the Sápmi lands.
Many of the Saami live in the snowy region of the arctic circle, and their traditional clothing styles include suits which vaguely resemble Santa’s in form, although their color schemes are bright and more varied than mere red-and-white. They’re also traditionally reindeer herders. I’m not sure that there are many more associations with our Christmas myths, however.
Of course, Rovaniemi has constructed a clever marketing concept with its Santa Claus Village and claim as Santa’s home. The association gains them a large amount of attention, press, and likely, increased tourism during the cold winter season. Their associated Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel and Pinterest board all seem relatively new to me. I bet they pick up a lot of new followers this season!
Of course, even a clever marketing scheme may not be enough to persuade most potential visitors to come during such a cold month! As I’m writing this, it’s currently negative eight degrees Fahrenheit in Rovaniemi!