Sunday, 24 April 2016

Finland Part 11: Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi

There is a place in Rovaniemi called Santa Claus Village. This is a popular Rovaniemi attraction where people thronged by the thousands to meet with Santa Claus and to be photographed with him. Santa Claus Village is a cleverly thought out concept to create a make-believe village where Christmas is felt everyday. Even though the Christmas season was long over when I was there, Christmas mood was still in the air as the setting and decor in the village are mostly Christmas-themed. Christmas trees, Christmas bells and paper-wrapped Christmas parcels are everywhere. There's also the Snowman...and of course, there's Santa Claus! 
Santa Claus Village is equally spectacular for the fact that the Artic Circle actually cuts through it. 
A line is drawn on the village ground to mark the exact location of this latitude. Directly above this line is another parallel line denoted by a string which is pulled through space from one tower building across several pillars. Even though I couldn't see the line on the ground as it was covered with snow, the line above was visible. At this particular section you can cross the Artic Circle a few dozen times and tell the world that you have indeed done so. Even the thought of it is thrilling.
And that's me standing directly on the Artic Circle!
For illustration purpose only: That's how the Artic Circle line is like during summer.
Among a few highlights of the village is Santa Claus Office. This is where people meet with Santa Claus to have an official photo taken with him. Personal cameras are not allowed during the photography session as all photos with Santa Claus are taken by a professional photographer and have to be purchased. (Scroll down 18 slides to see my official photo with Santa Claus)

I simply love the decor around here. Sprightly colors are used in various cozy corners.
Even the souvenirs sold here are beautifully designed and packaged.

Another highlight is Santa Claus' Main Post Office.
This is a functional post office that offers postal service, sells stamps, postcards and other souvenirs.
There are two post boxes in the post office differentiated by 2 bright colours. The yellow post box is where one drops letters and cards to be sent out as soon as possible. The red one will store all letters and cards and send them out in time for the coming Christmas irregardless of which time the letters and cards are dropped in. 
Outside the post office building
The next highlight is found in the village's main building. Known as Christmas House, this building houses a souvenir shop, a Christmas-themed exhibition and a room where one can freely meet and take informal photos with Santa Claus.(This is a different Santa Claus from the one at Santa Claus Office).
At the entrance to Christmas House.
The souvenir shop at Christmas House
A Christmas themed exhibition at Christmas House
Above: The formal photograph with Santa Claus that has to be paid. 
Below: The informal photograph with (another) Santa Claus taken using own camera.
Walking around the village ground was in itself a nice experience. The beautiful architecture of the buildings and the creative structures surrounding them make the place look very much like a wonderland.

Santa Claus Village also offers accommodation and organizes fun activities for interested visitors. Seen in the background are cabins for rent.
As we board our bus to leave the place, I couldn't help but noticed the beautiful backdrop of white clouds, light blue skies and natural Christmas trees.

Finland Part 9: Ranua Wildlife Park

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