Over the last month Helsinki has gradually become lighter, despite the days getting shorter, due to the increase in Christmas lights. Lights are going up in shop windows, along major roads and in the windows of private houses: everything from lights on 10m tall Christmas trees to electric candles on windowsills.

Lights at the entrance to the Arabiaranta shopping centre

 

In central Helsinki one of the main streets, Aleksanterinkatu, is lit up with street lights each year.

Aleksanterinkatu all lit up

 

Stockmann‘s annual Christmas window is also located at one end of Aleksanterinkatu – this year there was a little boardwalk so that children could get the best views of the display (featuring penguins, reindeer, owls and various forest creatures).

Penguins in Stockmann's Christmas window display

At the other end of Aleksanterinkatu (on Senaatintori, next to the Helsinki Cathedral) is the annual St. Thomas Christmas market. We found a couple of nice things there – the prices seemed a little high (aiming for tourists?) but we could easily have bought lots of Christmas presents there.

St. Thomas Christmas market

Other parts of the city centre had their own lights too. The central railway station was particularly nicely decorated.

The central railway station in is Christmas lights

There were illuminated Christmas trees everywhere. I could have taken hundreds of photos – but will limit myself to just posting this last one.