Rovaniemi – the number one Christmas destination

According to the American TV channel CNN, Rovaniemi is the number one Christmas destination. The news company listed the nine most Christmassy places on the planet in its article published on 12 December.

The article presents Rovaniemi, located on the Arctic Circle, as a place where children can bake gingerbread cookies with Mrs. Claus, enrol in Elf School and write letters to Santa using a traditional quill. The article also mentions Ranua Zoo, with its famous polar bears, Sirmakko reindeer farm and the Arktikum science centre that reveals the secrets behind the Northern Lights.

Next on the list, behind Rovaniemi, were Strasbourg, France, Québec, Canada, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. According to Yle News, CNN International reaches 1.5 billion people in 212 countries.

Rovaniemi also came first in the ranking carried out by Lonely Planet, one of the world’s largest travel media, in early December. Lonely Planet’s article also mentions Finland’s brisk temperatures in addition to Santa Claus and Arktikum.

— Finnish thermometers have more numbers below 0°C than above, so pack serious winter clothing, the website advises.

Santa Claus receives the world’s longest wish list

Santa Claus became the centre of international media attention at the beginning of December, according to the Visit Rovaniemi website, when he received the world’s longest wish list. The world record, which was approved by Guinness World Records, was set by a rolled up letter measuring 3 798.5 metres in length, weighing 160 kilograms and including 75 954 wishes. The wishes came from 30 different countries.

The wish list was carried out as part of BMW’s MINI Goes to Santa Claus project in which eight MINI cars drove from Munich, Germany, to Rovaniemi, a trip spanning 3 500 kilometres.

According to the Santa Claus Post Office, the bearded gentleman receives more than half a million letters from 200 countries. Interest in the genuine Santa has grown especially in China in recent years.

Rovaniemi and the Arctic Circle also topped last year’s lists of Christmas destinations in the global media.

Sources: Good News from Finland, Visit Rovaniemi