Saturday, December 20, 2014

Santa Claus is coming to Helsinki!

The Christmas season is in full swing in Helsinki.  It was kicked off a few weeks ago with the coming of Santa Claus in a traditional Christmas parade.  The stores and shops are lit up and decorated and the main streets are lit up to brighten the season for Christmas shoppers!
Last week was the Christmas parade in Helsinki.  It began in the square in front of Helsinki's main Lutheran cathedral, with a few brief speeches including one in Finnish and English by Santa Claus.  The square was filled with families. 

After a few introductory remarks the Christmas tree in front of the cathedral was lit and the parade began.

The parade was fun and interesting.  It included fire trucks and various groups, and of course Santa Claus.  Two of the more interesting were groups of dogs and their owners.  In both cases the dogs and their owners were donned in red capes as seen in this picture.  The other group included about twenty bassett hounds (unfortunately that picture didn't turn out).
The crowd was so dense that it was difficult for little children to see.  This boys mother was very willing and appreciative to accept my offer of this seat to her little boy.  Because it gets dark so early here almost everyone wears reflectors similar to the one on this boys glove.

Aleksanterinkatu is the main shopping street.  It is closed to traffic except for the trams.

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