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Thursday, December 25, 2008 


this is, in fact, the real Father Christmas
Originally uploaded by zoom images.

Santa may have a "branch office" in the North Pole, but he lives in Finland.
Finland didn’t claim itself as Santa’s country of residence until 1927, when radio personality Markus Rautio declared Korvatunturi, a mountain in Lapland, to be Santa’s home. His official address has since moved to Rovaniemi, a city near the Arctic Circle, but these days Santa Claus offers a marketable face for Finnish tourism. According to the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, nearly 150,000 European and Asian visitors visited Lapland last winter.

“As far as Santa Claus living in Finland, we can stand behind a few facts,” says Ilkka Länkinen, founder and CEO of Rovaniemi-based Pro Santa, a company that sends trained Santa Clauses around the world and is home to the
Christmas village Joulukka. “Finnish is the only language in the world that has named the month of December after Christmas,” he notes. “‘Joulukuu’ literally translates to ‘Christmas month’. And even though Santa might keep an office at the North Pole, he can’t live there, because reindeer can’t survive there. In Lapland, they can make it through the winter.” - Virtual Finland

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Fröhliche Weihnachten to you and yours, Jill.

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