Peaceful Christmas Celebrated in Finland

Christmas has been celebrated peacefully across Finland. The tradition of placing candles on graves of loved ones is an enduring Finnish Christmas tradition, as are early morning church services.

Police have had to deal with ordinary minor disturbances, domestic calls, and the people who have consumed too much alcohol. However, the overall impression in most cities was that the past night was more peaceful than usual.

Fire brigades were called to put out a few minor fires, generally caused by careless use of candles or outdoor flames.

The tradition of placing candles on graves of loved ones is an enduring Finnish Christmas tradition, as are early morning church services. However, the increased popularity of Christmas Eve midnight mass has cut down attendance at morning services.

Nevertheless, Christmas Day remains the third-most popular church observance in Finland, right after Chrismas Eve and the First Sunday of the Advent.

The morning and daytime services of Christmas Day attracted about 145,000 churchgoers around Finland, while more than 80,000 attended Christmas Eve events.

Multimedia Messages More Popular

Although thousands of Finns flocked to post offices before Christmas to send dozens of traditional cards, a growing number sent multimedia messages over the holiday period via a newly acquired 3G phone.

The number of video or picture greetings doubled that for last Christmas. Service providers believe combined subscription and telephone sales have increased the popularity of 3G phones. The next peak in multimedia messages is expected on New Year's Eve.