Travels in Finland and abroad

December 16, 2009

Christmas tradition / Tradición de Navidad / Tradition de Noël


In English:

Himmeli – Finnish Christmas decorative tradition from rye straws.

Last week I was visiting on some local “Christmas Bazaar”. I saw some very beautiful “Himmelis” there. The word Himmeli cannot be translated directly, but it is coming from Swedish word “Himmel” and means Heaven. Originally idea came from Central Europe, but we are still keeping up the tradition here. Himmelis are made from rye straws and their traditional forms are octahedron. I also looked my photo archive and found one Himmeli from the old wooden church of Untamala. If You are interested to try to make Himmeli, but You say: I do not have straws, then You can use drinking straws.

En español:

Himmeli – tradición finlandés decorativa de Navidad de paja de centeno.

Semana pasada visitaba en algunas “Bazar de Navidad” locales. Vi algúnos “Himmelis” muy hermosos allí. La palabra Himmeli no puede ser traducido directamente, pero viene de la palabra sueca “Himmel” y significa el Cielo. Originalmente la idea vino del Europa central, pero de nosotros todavía nos mantenemos la bonita tradición aquí. Himmelis estan hechos de pajas de centeno y sus formas tradicionales son octaedros. También miré mi archivos de foto y encontré un Himmeli en la vieja iglesia de madera de Untamala. Si Vos estás interesado probar de hacer un Himmeli, pero Vos dices: Yo no tengo pajas, entonces Vos puedes utilizar pajas de bebidas.

En francais:

Himmeli – la tradition decorative de noël finlandais de paille de seigle.

Semaine dernière étais en visitant quelques local “Bazar de Noël”. J’ai vu quelques très beaux “Himmelis” là. Le Himmeli est un mot ce que on ne peut pas être directement traduit, mais le mot vient de suédois “Himmel” et signifie le Ciel. Au début l’idée est venue d’Europe Centrale, mais nous maintenons toujours la tradition ici. Himmelis ont faites des pailles de seigle et leurs formes traditionnelles sont l’octaèdre. J’ai regardé aussi mon archive de photo et ai trouvé un Himmeli du vieil L’église en bois d’Untamala. Si Vous êtes intéressé pour essayer de faire Himmeli, mais Vous dites : Je n’ai pas des pailles, alors Vous pouvez utiliser pailles d’une boisson.

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Finnish Christmas tradition

Himmeli – Finnish Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Finnish Christmas tradition

Himmeli – Finnish Christmas tradition

Himmeli - Finnish Christmas tradition

Himmeli – Finnish Christmas tradition

My wife made this from beads / Mi esposa hizo esto de perlas / Ma femme a fait ce à partir de perles / Minha esposa fez isso a partir de miçangas:

Christmas, Xmas, Navidad, Natal, Noël, Weihnachten, Julfest

Christmas in Museum of Glass/ Navidad en el Museo del Vidrio y Cristal / Noël en Musée du Verre et Vitrail

Christmas tree decorations / Adornos de Navidad de árboles de Navidad / Décorations de arbre de Noël

Old Christmas postcards1 / Viejas tarjetas postales de Navidad1 / Vieilles cartes postales de Noël1

Old Christmas postcards2 / Viejas tarjetas postales de Navidad2 / Vieilles cartes postales de Noël2

Christmas Markets 1 / Mercados navideños 1 / Marchés de Noël 1

Christmas Markets 2 / Mercados navideños 2 / Marchés de Noël 2

Himmeli how to make it, check and learn:

Himmeli how to make it



  1. Once again, excellent photos. We have a star for the top of our tree that we bought at a craft fair in London, made from these straws and a Tomten? who looks a bit like a Santa Claus inside a straw star.
    (I left a comment on my last Blog for you with some links).

    Comment by jackiequeen — December 16, 2009 @ 17:57 | Reply

    • Hello again Jackiequeen. Very interesting. Although my wife is making different things by her hands, like Patchwork, Quilting, Wickerwork, Christmas decorations and from Beads Bracelets, Necklaces etc. But Himmeli she has not ever made. I know that Tomte is in English Brownie. Tomte is a Swedish word and in Finnish, we say Tonttu. So Your Chrismas tree is sure very nice looking. Maybe before Xmas, we” have some photos from it. What I’ll present before Christmas is a “secret” until then.

      Thank You for Your visit here.

      Comment by sartenada — December 16, 2009 @ 18:18 | Reply

  2. wow, had never heard about of seen “Himmelis” ever in my life. Are they handmade or nowadays everything comes pre-built from factories when it comes to christmas traditions :(?

    Comment by thelocalguide — December 17, 2009 @ 04:29 | Reply

    • Hi Thelocalguide.

      I guess that there are few people in the whole world who have heard the word Himmeli and ever seen it. Answer to You question is: They are absolutely made by hand. One cannot buy them from any departstore or not any store which is advertising that they are well-equipped! On some sales as Christmas sale some people (mainly women) make them and then sell them to the charity. These photos were taken from Christmas Bazaar of mine nearest church, which I’ll present next time.

      If You or somebody other is really interested how Himmeli is made, then here is a link (video) where a Lady is making it. Although the page is in Finnish and as also the video, one can easily understand how it is made. The Himmeli video is on upper, left corner. Just click and start learning. Enjoy makeing something new for Christmas! Astonish Your family, Your friend with Finnish tradition.


      Comment by sartenada — December 17, 2009 @ 08:04 | Reply

  3. Happy Christmas Sartenada…terrific photos

    Comment by seanfraser — December 17, 2009 @ 13:58 | Reply

    • Thank You Sean. 3.Happy Christmas to You also.

      Comment by sartenada — December 17, 2009 @ 14:01 | Reply

  4. (Merci pour la vidéo) – Quelle patience, mais celle-ci est récompensée ! C’est léger, “aérien”, et ça prend de jolis tons dorés sous les lumières.
    Je ne connaissais pas ces grandes réalisations, mais viens de faire le rapprochement avec quelques unes de mes décorations de Noël achetées dans un célèbre magasin suédois ! 😛

    Comment by Marion B. — December 18, 2009 @ 08:24 | Reply

  5. Bonjour Marion.

    Wow, tu est la première qui dit que a vu le video. Très gentille et merci beaucoup! Peut-être c’était une bonne idée montrer une décoration de Noël un peu differente. Bon journée.

    Comment by sartenada — December 18, 2009 @ 08:31 | Reply

  6. Good morning, Matti
    the Christmas decorations I like very much. In the past I also tinkered little stars from straws. It gave me much pleasure and I could develop my ideas. These things I saw in your blog, look great. It is associated with more work and effort, as only minor tinkering stars. The great bell I particularly liked. It is admirable that develop ideas in some people. <<>> This blog site I like very well. The naturalness of the colors are shown exemplary and excellent. I continue to try to regularly visit your blog and wish you and Anya, the best thing in your daily routes. Drive carefully. Dear greetings Christel

    Comment by Christel — January 10, 2010 @ 10:13 | Reply

  7. Morning Christel.

    Nice to read that You have made stars from straws. I do hope that my blog will give ideas to others. Maybe You start planning again for Your straw stars.

    Happy Sunday.

    Comment by sartenada — January 10, 2010 @ 10:32 | Reply

  8. Happy New Year 2012
    The Christmas decoration I like very much.

    Comment by mercedesmolinero — December 31, 2011 @ 00:51 | Reply

    • Hola Mercedes.

      That is so nice to read that You like our special Christmas decoration called Himmeli.

      Happy New Year 2012 to You and Yours.

      Comment by sartenada — December 31, 2011 @ 08:23 | Reply

  9. Thank you for liking my posts and your kind comment–they brought me to your site. I am so glad they did! I have never heard of Himmeli. They are very beautiful.

    Comment by transplantedtatar — January 6, 2013 @ 17:03 | Reply

    • Hello Transplantedtatar.

      I am glad that You checked this post of mine. Our world is so big that it is a great joy to find something new. Thank You for Your kind comment.

      Have a start of the week!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 7, 2013 @ 07:59 | Reply

  10. This is SO BEAUTIFUL OMG.!!!!

    Comment by Wan Wei — April 13, 2015 @ 10:42 | Reply

    • Hi Wan Wei.

      I am glad that You love this Finnish tradition. Here is how one is made. The guide is my wife:

      Himmeli – how to

      This one is hanging year round at our home yet today.

      Have a nice day!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 13, 2015 @ 12:15 | Reply

  11. Todas estas decoraciones son un encanto…
    (Es posible que ya las haya visto en otro post tuyo?)
    Gracias por mostrarnos estas tradiciones finlandesas!

    Comment by 76sanfermo — April 13, 2015 @ 14:07 | Reply

    • Hola Anna.

      Pues, va visitar mi post:


      y ya conoces. 🙂 Muchas gracias por tu comentario.

      Que tengas un buen dia!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 13, 2015 @ 14:17 | Reply

  12. They are beautiful Matti. My favourite is the bell-shaped one. In fact I did notice one of these in your Ice Hotel post.

    Comment by Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers — April 22, 2015 @ 19:29 | Reply

    • Hi Janice.

      Thank You. I love also the bell-shaped Himmeli which is inside of old wooden church of Untamala. It must be old.

      Have a happy day!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 23, 2015 @ 07:13 | Reply

  13. Very interesting chandelier!

    Comment by Jean — December 4, 2016 @ 00:05 | Reply

    • Hello Jean.

      I am glad that You saw one of our traditions. Himmeli can be seen in many places during Christmas time. Here my wife shows to You how to make it:

      Himmeli how to make it.

      You have yet time to make it before Christmas. 🙂

      Have a nice day!

      Comment by Sartenada — December 4, 2016 @ 09:45 | Reply

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