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Unusual Christmas Traditions #2 ~ Visiting the Dead in Finland

In Finland, Christmas Eve is the biggest day of the Christmas season.This is the day when families visit the cemeteries. It is a tradition that begun in the 1900s. It was customary to visit the graves of soldiers who died after the Winter War. This practice soon spread to other graves and leaving gifts for the dead became a Christmas tradition.

On Christmas Eve, families in Finland pay homage to their departed friends, ancestors and relatives by visiting their graves. Cemeteries are lit up with candle light in memory of their loved ones. Even those who don’t have relatives buried in a cemetery, visit and leave candles in memory of their relatives who may be buried elsewhere. Families would also give up their beds to sleep on the floor on Christmas Eve so that the departed could have a comfortable place to rest and food is left on tables so the dead would have a nice meal.

Images Credit Pixaby

  • Do you visit the grave of a loved one at Christmas or on special days?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Is Christmas Eve the biggest day of the season for you?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I don’t celebrate Christmas
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