Oh-so-sweet Finnish Christmas!

Finnish Christmas is filled with mouth-watering treats and taste-bud-tickling delicacies. Beware of the sugar rush!

There is plenty to satisfy Finland’s collective sweet tooth as Christmas approaches, from candy and chocolate to hot drinks and pastries.

It only comes once a year, which is just as well for the Finnish national waistline, but an endless roll call of traditional treats heralds the arrival of the Christmas season. The New Year diet will come soon enough, so tuck into a visual feast on a Helsinki tour of seasonal Finnish goodies to get you in the festive mood.

Glögi, the essence of Finnish Christmas: the aroma of cloves and cinnamon from steaming hot juice or wine with almonds and raisins. Photo: Tim Bird

Home made jams, jellies and mustards at a Helsinki Christmas fair. Photo: Tim Bird

The heartening smell of roasted chestnuts has become part of Finnish Christmas in recent years. Photo: Tim Bird

Sugar-coated green jellies, called Vihreät kuulat (Green cannonballs) are a familiar feature at many festive celebrations. Photo: Tim Bird

Cane candy at the St Thomas Christmas market in Helsinki’s Senate Square. Photo: Tim Bird

Rice porridge sprinkled with cinnamon is a festive favourite, especially for kids looking for the ‘good luck almond’ concealed in the bowl. Rice porridge is a common breakfast on Christmas Eve. Photo: Tim Bird

The star-shaped Finnish ‘joulutorttu’ or ‘Christmas tart’ is a sugar-sprinkled puff pastry topped with a dollop of plum jam. Photo: Tim Bird

The Christmas bun ‘joulupulla’ is adorned with a gingerbread star and flavoured with cardamom. Photo: Tim Bird

Finland, as everyone knows, is the home of the real Father Christmas, so it’s only right that he should also be present in chocolate form. Photo: Tim Bird

Sugar snow sprinkles on a chocolate snow globe in Stockmann department store’s annual Christmas window. (Spoiler: it is not edible!) Photo: Tim Bird

Gingerbread cookies are part of the Christmas package. In fact, for many Finns eating the raw gingerbread dough is part of the fun when baking these Christmas delicacies. Photo: Tim Bird

A ‘gingerbread Helsinki in 1850’s’ created by Helsinki pre-school children was constructed at the Museum of Finnish Architecture. Photo: Tim Bird

Chocolate CD greeting cards at the Old Market Hall in Helsinki. Don’t try playing these on your hi-fi! Photo: Tim Bird

Wishing you ‘Hyvää joulua’ – Merry Christmas – every time you eat one of these handmade chocolates. Photo: Tim Bird

Strawberry and cranberry juice for hot Christmas drinks at Helsinki’s Market Square. Photo: Tim Bird

By Tim Bird