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2014-12-15 10:21:53

Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa arrives in Budapest

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Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa Claus landed in Budapest on board Finnair flight AY-753 from Helsinki shortly ahead of schedule. Joulupukki, arriving in more like fall than winter weather, was welcomed at the airport by schoolchildren from Lipót, in Győr-Sopron county, and kids from kindergartens in Budapest district XVIII. The real Finnish Santa Claus will remain in Hungary until 6 December, visiting several cities as well as Budapest.

Joulupukki greeted the kindergarten and schoolchildren gathered at the airport to welcome him in Hungarian language. Then, following a short discussion, he distributed Christmas candy. He noted that he saw a real winter landscape when he was looking out the window of the aircraft, albeit it was not snow, but thick cloud cover enveloping the whole of the Carpathian Basin, bringing cold, windy, wet weather for the first day of December. The bearded, spectacled Joulupukki was welcomed at the stairs of the aircraft by Pasi Tuominen, the Finnish ambassador to Budapest.

The visit of the Finnish Santa Claus to Hungary is organized by Finnagora, the center of Finnish culture in Budapest. Over the coming days, he will meet children in numerous locations throughout Hungary, in Budapest and in the countryside. The precise program is available on Finnagora’s website at www.finnagora.hu. The last opportunity to meet him this year will be on 6 December, when he will return to his home in Northern Finland, also with a Finnair flight.

Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa Claus, lives near Rovaniemi, in the Arctic region of Finland, in a large wooden hut in the middle of a pine forest. He receives so many letters from children all over the world that the Finnish postal service opened a post office just for him, to make the forwarding of the letters easier. In the old days, he rode around on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Nowadays, he prefers Finnair’s Airbus A 321, whereby he is able to distribute gifts to children faster, and there is also less draft at cruising altitude.

Photos of Joulupukki’s arrival in Budapest: