Santa Claus lives in Rovaniemi according to Finnish tradition

Where does Santa Claus actually live? At the North Pole according to North American tradition. No, according to Danish tradition, the real Santa Claus lives in Greenland. Or does Santa Claus live in Turkey, or in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The real Santa Claus, or Joulupukki, as the Finns call him, officially lives in an office nine kilometers from Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland.

  • Santa Claus
  • Rovaniemi in Finland
  • Subarctic climate
  • Continental climate or continental climate
  • The fairy tale is seriously threatened
  • The Lapland Safaris Group
  • Trip with huskies
  • Reindeer tour
  • Snowmobile tour
  • Journey to the Northern Lights
  • Ice fishing
  • SnowVillage
  • The Santa Claus Safari


Santa Claus

Santa Claus is a fairytale character who hands out presents at Christmas. In the most common imagination, Santa Claus originated in the United States. When the island of Manhattan was purchased by the Dutch in 1626, many Dutch colonists tried their luck in America. The tradition of Saint Nicholas, who lived in the city of Myra in modern-day Turkey in the 4th century, was carried over and over the years Saint Nicholas has become the personification of Santa Claus, who brings presents at Christmas. The American Santa Claus is a corruption of Sinterklaas. Santa Claus in America does not have Petes but elves who help him make and package the toys.
Reindeer as transport
Santa Claus does not have Amerigo as transport, but eight reindeer that pull his sleigh. The reindeer are:

  • Dasher;
  • Dancer;
  • Prancer;
  • Vixen;
  • Comet;
  • Cupid;
  • Thunder;
  • Blitzing.

A ninth reindeer was added in 1939: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.
Via America
In Finland, Santa Claus lives in a cozy office near the Arctic Circle. Above the Arctic Circle it is light for 24 hours around June 21 (the sun does not set) and around December 21 it is dark for 24 hours (the sun does not rise). The Finns call the latter kaamos or the Polar Night. Santa’s door is always open to visitors, ready to receive wish lists. Santa Claus returned to Europe via the Americans and made his appearance here.

Rovaniemi in Finland

Santa Claus’s office is located in Rovaniemi, the capital of the province of Lapland. Most holidaymakers land at Rovaniemi Airport and the airport is only 2 kilometers away from Santa Claus’ house (office), Santa’s official home base. In 2010, Rovaniemi was given the official status of Santa Claus’ residence. Santa Claus’ house is located near the Santa Claus Village amusement park where there are attractions and accommodation options. Rovaniemi is located about 10 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle and has a subarctic climate.

Subarctic climate

A subarctic climate is a continental climate and this climate is only found in the Northern Hemisphere between the 50th and 70th latitude. Rovaniemi is located near the Arctic Circle, the parallel at 66.5 north latitude. The Arctic Circle is an imaginary circle that runs over the northern tip of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Kola (Russia Peninsula), Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland and has the North Pole at its center. The subarctic climate occurs over large areas of land in the Northern Hemisphere, far away from the influence of the oceans. The characteristic of a subarctic climate is that the winter is long, cold and severe and the summer is mild, warm and short. The climate has large temperature fluctuations, with temperatures rising to 30 degrees in the summer and temperatures of 40 degrees below zero in the winter.

Continental climate or continental climate

A continental climate is an area that is far inland. The influence of the seas is very small and the fairly dry surface heats up easily and cools down quite quickly. The reason why winters are cold and summers are warm.
Dianordia Oy
Dianordia Oy is the company that keeps everything running when it comes to Santa Claus. The company’s goal is to introduce Santa Claus to all people worldwide every day of the year. Through a large park with the sale of tourist products, a photo with Santa Claus, sales and marketing activities, overnight accommodation and internet sales, Dianordia Oy keeps the whole thing running.
The entrance to the Santa Claus park / Source: Timo Newton-Syms, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-2.0)

The fairy tale is seriously threatened

The company was in danger of going bankrupt due to a tax debt of more than €200,000. The Finnish Santa Claus came to the edge of the abyss. Fortunately, through various actions, the objective of introducing people worldwide to Santa Claus remains intact, because:

  • the mayor of Rovaniemi comes to the rescue with an annual donation of 26,000 euros to Dianordia Oy.
  • Since the summer of 2015, a campaign has been started where everyone can donate an amount to keep Santa Claus at work;
  • the Lapland Safaris Group bought a majority of the shares in Dianordia Oy, and continues and has expanded the activities of Santa Claus Village.


The Lapland Safaris Group

The Lapland Safaris Group organizes safari tours with huskies, reindeer, snowmobiles, Northern Lights tours, ice fishing tours and tours to SnowVillage in Lainio.

Trip with huskies

At a husky farm you will receive a brief explanation before you cross the winter wilderness of Lapland with a pack of huskies and combine this with a sightseeing tour or a night in an ice hotel.

Reindeer tour

Enjoy the beautiful landscape in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Experience the ultimate Santa Claus feeling yourself.

Snowmobile tour

Experience the vast landscape and ride a snowmobile yourself (make sure you have a driver’s license) on the many snowmobile trails in Lapland. The thick snow-covered forests, frozen lakes, the high plateaus with a beautiful viewpoint and the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, and experience the ultimate feeling of happiness on safari with snowmobiles.
The northern Lights. / Source: United States Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Journey to the Northern Lights

The polar lights or Northern Lights are a light phenomenon that mainly occurs in the Arctic Ocean (or Arctic Ocean). Go with a guide, on a snowmobile or reindeer sleigh, to the best place to view this spectacle.

Ice fishing

During a snowmobile tour with a guide, ice fishing or hole fishing by drilling a hole in the ice of a frozen lake or pond. Lying on a reindeer skin, fishing comfortably.


Spend a night at the snow hotel in Laino. A spectacular world of snow and ice that is built up every year.

The Santa Claus Safari

Whether it’s a snowmobile, a reindeer safari or a pack of huskies: don’t forget to visit Santa’s home in Rovanieme.

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