Eight kilometres north of Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, is the self-proclaimed hometown of Father Christmas. The village was established in 1985. Its main attractions are a post office, a snow theatre and thematic parks.
Santa’s post office is decorated in a fairy-tale style. It works like a normal post office, selling stamps and envelopes. You can buy a Christmas card free of cost and post it to a friend. You can also read the letters sent to Santa from children the world over. The post office is manned entirely by Santa’s elves.
Santa Park is an underground Disneyesque re-creation of St Nicholas’ abode. Here you can meet Santa and take photographs with him. The park is specially designed for small children, and offers many rides like the Magic Sleigh Ride, with Santa’s reindeer. Rudolph’s Run is a popular ride, the red-nosed reindeer being everyone’s favourite.
Snowland is also popular with kids as they can try their hand at ice sculpting, wander about the snow mazes or take a ride in a snow mobile. The Arctic Snow Theatre has a Snow Show, where colossal works of art sculpted out of ice and snow, are displayed.
Although Santa Claus visits the village every day, he does not live there. He lives with his wife and hundreds of elves in his secret getaway in the East of Lapland, on the 483-metre-high Korvatunturi Fell, a secluded hill shaped like a ear, on Finland’s border with Russia.
You, too, can write to Santa at: Santa Claus, FIN-96930, Arctic Circle, Finland. Only, don’t be disappointed if you don’t receive a reply immediately! After all it’s a busy time for Santa!