Helsinki Christmas Markets

I’ve lost track of time. When I went to buy our Christmas tree yesterday I couldn’t figure out why it was on sale. And then I realised – there’s only one week till Christmas! A common complaint in NZ and Australia is that Christmas merchandise starts appearing in stores around October but I haven’t noticed that so much here, with things really kicking off just this month.

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Helsinki Christmas Markets run from 8-21 December and over 100 colourful cabins have been set up in Senate Square. Nerea and I went down on a cool and crisp day to check them out.

IMG_4356One of the hardest things about the Baltic wind right now is having cold ears! The markets have piles of warm woollen mittens, hats and ear warmers to choose from.

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You can see this mannequin is also sporting a knitted neck warmer. Plainer versions are really popular for children to stop cold air slipping down their jackets and are easily removed so they are not too hot once indoors.

IMG_4351There’s a range of food on offer – including the ubiquitous smoked salmon, pickled vegetables, pickled herring, berry jams and sauces.

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You can also find reindeer pelts and sheepskins to warm up your home – or why not go the whole fox if that’s your thing?

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Finnish baking is on offer, such as traditional ginger biscuits (piparkakut) as is glögi, Finnish mulled wine popular at Christmas.

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There are also warm Kareljan piiraka and lihakeitto (meat soup) as well as pulled pork rolls and vegan burgers to be found.

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If you are in Helsinki I recommend stopping by before the markets close in five days time!

And for anyone feeling even slightly grinchy I have included below what may just be the cheesiest photo I have ever taken.

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