News in brief

The coronavirus crisis has led to travel bans and cancelled events, wreaking havoc on Christmas plans everywhere. The slump in tourism has hit Finland hard this year, particularly in Santa’s hometown of Rovaniemi. Additionally, some districts may not get to experience snow on Christmas day. 

Despite the trying circumstances, however, the country remains well-lit this Christmas, with decorations dazzling passersby, particularly in the capital city, and lending a cheerful message of hope in the gloom of winter.  


The Christmas season in Helsinki traditionally begins with the eagerly awaited ceremony of switching on the lights along Aleksanterinkatu (the official Christmas street). This year the ceremony took place on 22 November. (Lehtikuva)


Twinkling lights are hung across the clock tower at the Central Railway Station Helsinki. (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva)


Locals gather around the Christmas tree at the Senate Square in the centre of Helsinki. (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva)


Decorations near the statue of Finnish-Swedish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg in the Esplanadi Park in Helsinki. (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva)


 Streetlight decorations outside the Esplanadi Park. (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva)


Decorations inside Kamppi Shopping Centre, one of the most popular spots for shopping in Helsinki. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva)


A festively-lit backyard in Pukinmäki, Northeastern Helsinki. (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva)


A bright house illuminates dark streets in the city of Porvoo. (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva)