Marja-Leena Rathje
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Looking back: Joulupukki


Isn't it fascinating how the Santa Claus figure has evolved in different countries? In Finland, the jolly fellow is called 'Joulupukki' and his home is on Korvatunturi Mountain, in Finnish Lapland. (Some links are dead, sorry.)

Recently, I read a fascinating article concerning the possible source of the name Joulupukki, which means literally 'Jule goat'. Eventually he evolved into the American style Santa, who, surprise! was designed by the son of Finnish emigrant, Haddon Sudblom. Enjoy the reads, and have fun getting ready for Christmas!

UPDATE Dec.23rd, 2007 - Just read this in our weekend paper: Never mind the North Pole: Santa's in Lapland, by Polish student Grzegorz Wieclaw.


Very pretty. I have a red bowl filled with green apples on my dining room table!

Busy with work and getting ready for holiday travel. Hope you're enjoying the festivities!

Leslee, thanks for taking the time to drop by in your busy week. Have a safe trip and enjoy your holiday!

Yes, your Christmassy pictures are lovely!
I enjoyed reading about Joulupukki, it's fascinating how these things transform, isn't it?
But St Nicholas too has his dark brother, Pere Fouetteur, who whips the naughty children! I wonder how many of the parents who threatened their children with bare twigs and no presents really carried out the threats, even in the days when times were harder and parents stricter?

Lucy, thank you for the compliment, and the reminder that in other traditions too, there was a dark side to Santa. He seems to have been watered down and pretty-fied, a victim of commercialism, would you say?

What lovely pictures! And what a lovely time of year in the north for those who can be warm! "The frost performs it secret ministry..." A happy Christmas

Thanks, Joe and the same to you! It's been a pleasure getting to know your writing.