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Christmas Eve
24-24 December
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Christmas in most homes begins on the evening of December 24th, where excited young children are encouraged to go to bed early so as not to miss out on gifts from Santa Claus.

The idea that animals have the power of speech at midnight on Christmas Eve and this superstition exists in various parts of Europe. There is also a French belief that on Christmas Eve, while the genealogy of Christ is being chanted at the Midnight Mass, hidden treasures are revealed, In Russia all sorts of buried treasures are supposed to be revealed on the evenings between Christmas and the Epiphany, and on the eves of these festivals the heavens are opened, and the waters of springs and rivers turn into wine. Many Christmas Eve meals in America traditionally are ham or fowl. 
Celebrate Christmas 2011 in Finland
Christmas Eve in Finland is a combination of a lot of traditions. Some families open presents Christmas Eve night, many go to church, or have different dinners, like ham, goose, etc.

Christmas in Finland is unforgettable for many visitors during the holiday season, as the Finnish Christmas traditions can vary from your home's traditions quite a bit. 

Christmas Celebration in Finland:

The first Sunday in December (also called the First Advent) starts the Finnish Christmas season. Many children use advent calendars that count down the remaining days to Christmas Eve.

December 13 is the day of Saint Lucia, who is celebrated with lots of candles and formal celebrations in every town with a candle-crowned young girl. The time for Scandinavian Christmas tree shopping and decorating is coming, and Christmas cards are being exchanged.

Essentials on Christmas Eve in Finland are Christmas mass, and a visit to a Finnish sauna, of course. Many Finnish families also visit cemeteries to remember the dead and have porridge for lunch (with a hidden almond in it - the finder has to sing a song.)

Between 5-7 pm on Christmas Eve, Christmas dinner is served in Finland, which traditionally consists of oven-baked ham, rutabaga casserole, beetroot salad, and similar holiday foods. Christmas Eve in Finland also consists of joyful carols and local Christmas songs. The Christmas presents are usually given out in the evening during a personal visit from the local Santa Claus.

Christmas in Finland officially ends 13 days after Christmas Day.

And last but not least, don't forget that "Merry Christmas" in Finnish is "Hyvää Joulua!"

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