Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Hi, I am Trixy from the Philippines and I will share my wonderful experiences with holidays in Finland!
As an international student, I find many things surprising and amazing during my holidays in Finland. It may be because it differs from what I used to have in my home country.
Cultural difference is a common factor that amazes an individual, as we naturally find it amusing when we experience something different that triggers our curiosity.
Holidays in Finland
Let’s go through the memorable happenings I have experienced during holidays in Finland, the happiest country in the world!
Easter or “Pääsiäinen”
Easter celebration is one of the most extended holidays in Finland – it usually starts from Thursday to Monday.
Most people go to summer cottages and spend the holidays with families and friends. During this celebration, it’s fun to eat “mämmi” (made from rye grain with vanilla sauce), the traditional easter food in the country.
Moreover, kids wear their costumes during Easter, knock on their neighbors’ doors, and ask for treats.
May Day or “Vappu”
May Day is the most prominent student party in the country. It is a celebration of workers’ day. However, it is also for the future workforce! University students participate in the festivity wearing their suits and gymnasium graduation hats.
We usually go out to have picnic parties in the parks and streets with our colorful balloons, costumes, masks, and banners. Music is played all over the park and is typically enjoyed with snacks, alcoholic drinks, and the traditional fried donut called ¨munkki¨ paired with a traditional drink ¨sima¨.
Various organizations and groups also organize parades and open markets on the streets where everyone can enjoy sightseeing vintage and rare cars.
Midsummer or “Juhannus“
Midsummer is one of the most important holidays in Finland. It plays an essential part in their country’s traditions as it signifies the coming of the abundant harvest of the year and the celebration of light during summertime.
However, I have noticed that this is one of the quietest times in the city. Everyone leaves their houses and apartments and goes to summer cottages to enjoy midsummer traditions – swim, eat, drink, sauna, and have a midsummer bonfire (Kokko in Finnish)
Nevertheless, as you go around the nature parks and people’s private areas, you will notice bonfires everywhere, symbolizing the celebration of light during the holiday.
As an international student here in Finland, Halloween is generally celebrated freely with friends over good food and drinks. Of course, treats are present in the festive celebration. Kids in their fun costumes knock on doors for trick or treat – so we prepare treats to hand for the scary cuties.
Christmas Eve or “Jouluaatto”
Like in other countries, Christmas is considered a sacred holiday in Finland. Families spend time together with their heartwarming traditions. Though we are in modern times, some still practice old traditions.
Of course, the traditional festive food was a treat for me as I saw delectable meals on the dinner table!
Finns enjoy various kinds of casseroles and pork ham over Christmas dinner. It included carrot casserole, swede casserole, potato casserole, and liver casserole. Also, fish and herring salad is typically present along with the bread during the celebration.
Another Christmas practices that amazed me in Finland are their Christmas tree tradition. Unlike in my home country, we have always used reusable plastic trees we buy from the store. However, in Finland, they put up a real tree cut from the forest and decorated it according to their preference or theme – that was so amusing!
Additionally, Santa Claus drops by if a child is in a household. He gives a Christmas gift to the kid, making it a memorable experience for them!
New Year’s Eve or “Uudenvuodenaatto“
New Year’s party is a simple festivity for everyone as a holiday in Finland. After celebrating a long holiday with the family over Christmas, New Year’s Eve is usually spent with friends over good food and drinks while shooting rockets upon welcoming the new year.
In a nutshell
Though there is no place like home, I surely consider Finland as my second home after moving here as an international student. This country has offered me a lot of remarkable memories, such as holidays in Finland, that are worth to be cherished.
So, start your journey and create memorable experiences in the world’s happiest country, Finland!
Edunation offers the best Pathway to Finland to prepare students for their study goals. The program will certainly equip you with excellent knowledge of how to be a productive student in the country.
Furthermore, Edunation provides Finland Arrival packages for international students. You will indeed have a relaxing arrival through its exciting bundles.
Book a counseling session to enjoy all the benefits of studying in the world’s happiest country, Finland!
About the writer
Trixy is from the Philippines and currently studying for her Bachelor’s Degree in International Business at Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences. She is passionate about organizing events, community immersion, and youth activities.