No matter whether you are from Finland or abroad, you can take a break from your normal routine and make a trip down to Santa Claus Village in the Arctic Circle. There you can zone out with Santa’s reindeer behind his office, build rapport with them, touch, pat, talk, and even feed them by your own hand – if they happen to like you, of course.
A company named Santa Claus Reindeer launched this show three years back. It has also been organising rides in reindeer carts in the same place for the last seven years during the winter.
“Every day we bring three to four reindeer here along with their food [tree leaves] from our farm for the visitors who have the opportunity to touch the reindeer and feed them leaves”, described Laura Ylinampa, commercial and sales in-charge at Santa Claus Reindeer.
She said the reindeer are brought here by rotation, i.e., everyday a new group comes. “You can say the group of reindeer on the show is enjoying a holiday”, said Ylinampa, chuckling.
She said, at present, about 20 to 50 people visit the show per day, but during the peak season of July they get about 100 visitors on an average a day. Most of the visitors are tourists, mostly from southern Finland and abroad.
The authorities keep a variety of tree leaves that reindeer like stacked near the entrance for the visitors to feed the reindeer.
During a visit to the show in late June, UIrich Bork, a German tourist who had come with his son Mark Bork, was cheerfully feeding two adult and a baby reindeer.
“I am very happy as the baby reindeer has eaten plenty of leaves from my hand. It likes me”, exclaimed Mark, a college student.
Ulrich Bork said it really felt good, kind of a direct contact with nature, to feed the reindeers.
The organisers said the visitors may stay with the reindeers as long as they wish, although the total feeding process does not take too long a time. People are generally seen to finish it by 15 minutes.
Tickets are available at the entrance for five euros per head.
City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report