Santa Claus on December 23 left his official hometown Rovaniemi on his annual journey to deliver gifts to children around the world.
The traditional Christmas event ‘Santa is on his way’ was celebrated at the centre of Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle with thousands of local and international Christmas guests attending to wish Santa a safe journey and send their warm wishes to people around the world.
Just a day before Christmas Eve, Father Christmas wished the crowd a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year before boarding a reindeer cart for the journey.
Addressing on the occasion, he urged the global community to be close and friendly to each other to make the world peaceful.
“The year 2016 is going to end soon. This year has been a year of lot of problems, but there are also a lot of good things happenings in the world,” he remarked, adding that he took part in several good events.
The 25th anniversary of the child rights convention was observed this year. It is a very important global agreement but plenty of work still needs to be done to make the world a good place for the children, said Santa.
He also urged people to look around and help other people wherever needed.
Thousands of visitors who gathered and were eagerly waiting to observe the launch of Santa’s long journey cheered the speech with loud applause.
Throughout the evening, busy elves, music and dance, and the greetings of Rovaniemi’s most famous resident to those celebrating Christmas around the world created a magical Christmas Eve atmosphere at the Santa Claus Village.
“This is a traditional part of our Christmas celebrations and we always enjoy this event with our friends and family. This wonderful occasion also helps us keep up the spirit of Christmas and to share our wishes with others,” said a visitor who came to the Santa Claus Village with her husband and two kids.
The number of international visitors to the Santa Claus Village has been steadily rising in recent years, as Rovaniemi has established itself as the official hometown of Santa Claus. Over the last few years, The Santa Claus Village has boosted its economy by hosting a significant number of foreigners.
“I liked the event very much,” said a Chinese tourist after the end of the ‘Santa is on his way.’ “The atmosphere was absolutely unbelievable. I am really pleased to be one of those who have met the real Santa in Rovaniemi,” he added.
City Rovaniemi- FNN Report