Watch: Santa's sleighs depart from northern Finland

The beginning of the magical journey from the Korvatunturi fell in Lapland has become an annual broadcasting tradition.

Joulupukki lähti matkaan Korvatunturilta
Joulupukki lähti matkaan Korvatunturilta

Santa Claus has officially begun his gift-giving trip around the world from his workshop on the Lapland fell of Korvatunturi in northern Finland, and Yle’s cameras were there to capture his departure.

Yle first broadcast Santa setting off on his sleigh in 1965, and broadcasting the beginning of the journey has become an annual tradition since the 1980s, which the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) then spreads throughout its public service network.

In addition to European broadcasters, the video of Santa’s departure has been picked up in past years by TV channels all across the globe, from Japan to the USA.

Santa Claus is known as Joulupukki (literally, the 'Christmas goat' in English) in Finland, and he usually visits Finnish children personally in their homes on Christmas Eve.

However, due to Santa's tight globe-trotting schedule, these visits are traditionally made by Santa surrogates who — usually in exchange for a fee or home baked goods — arrive dressed as the red-suited, jolly fellow to homes across Finland.

You can listen the story of how Santa became Finnish on our All Points North podcast via this embedded player, Yle Areena, Spotify (siirryt toiseen palveluun), iTunes (siirryt toiseen palveluun) or your normal pod player using the RSS feed (siirryt toiseen palveluun).