- Title: "Santa" begins Christmas journey as northern lights shine over Finland
- Date: 23rd December 2016
- Summary: VARIOUS OF NORTHERN LIGHTS
- Embargoed: 7th January 2017 21:27
- Keywords: Finland Santa Claus northern lights Christmas holidays sleigh
- Location: ROVANIEMI, FINLAND
- City: ROVANIEMI, FINLAND
- Country: Finland
- Topics: Human Interest/Brights/Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0035E3VKGP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: "Santa Claus" has begun his journey to deliver Christmas gifts to children all over the world, leaving his home in the Finnish town of Rovaniemi on Friday evening (December 23) under a spectacular show of the Northern Lights.
Though he spends much of his time in his workshop at the North Pole, Santa's official residence is in Rovaniemi just inside the Arctic Circle, and several hundred tourists and locals gathered to wave him off for the busiest period in his calendar.
With his elves putting on a song-and-dance performance to wish him luck, Santa spoke to the crowd briefly in Finnish and English.
"We are lucky and fortunate people; our life is good. We are having a nice holiday season," he told a gathering of people who wanted to wish him luck on his journey.
Santa then boarded his sleigh and left his village to head to the North Pole, where he will collect the rest of his reindeer and to make the final preparations before delivering gifts to lucky children all over the world on Christmas Eve.
Shortly after Santa's departure, the skies over Rovaniemi were lit up by the Northern Lights.
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