Visited December 2013
Did you know that although reindeers are allowed to roam freely, they do belong to someone?
The ears of the reindeers are engraved with individualized design, each pattern representing their owners. And the more reindeer a Sami has, the ‘richer’ he is supposed to be.
We had the privilege to experience a little bit of the Sami lifestyle during our reindeer sledding. Thanks to Lapland Welcome, our Sami driver took us on a reindeer sleigh ride, where we got to enjoy a peaceful trip through the snow-covered forest. The Sami guide even had an extremely adorable and friendly Finnish Spitz that was followed us throughout the ride.
And we got our 3-year reindeer license, at the end of it!
Our next and final stop then was Santa Claus Village!
The first visit at the village was to the post office, where we purchased a couple of postcards to send home to.
After which, we explored the area and took a picture with Santa Claus!
But did you know that to be Santa, you need to go through training school? Indeed, just donning the red costume and a beard doesn’t qualify a person to be Santa Claus. One has to go through years of training before he/she can be a certified Santa.
For crossing the Arctic Circle (seen as the demarcation of the neon light above the pillars), we got a commemorative certificate. Those interested to get a passport chop of the Arctic Circle as a souvenir may purchase it for 1€ too.
Finally being able to visit Santa Claus Village was truly an amazing feeling. It felt like we were brought back in time as kids again, as we had fun walking around the village covered in snow, basking in the festive of Christmas. This was one of the reasons why we insisted on combining both Finland and Sweden in our itinerary, even though the combination did not seem like an overly popular one, and I am very glad to have the Boy convince me to travel to Finland to experience it at least once in my lifetime.