Pranab Mukherjee first Indian President to cross Arctic Circle to meet Santa Claus

Pranab Mukherjee first Indian President to cross Arctic Circle to meet Santa Claus

Rovaniemi (Finland): Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian President to cross the Arctic Circle and visit Santa Claus' official home in Rovaniemi in Finland on October 16 (Thursday).




Mukherjee, accompanied by his daughter Sharmistha, was warmly greeted by Santa, as they spent the day with a host of activities, including meeting Santa's elves, watching reindeers in action, besides crossing the Arctic Circle.


Mukherjee and his daughter received a certificate for crossing the Arctic Circle.


The President was received by Mayor Esko Lotvonen, chairman of city council Heikki Autto and Managing Director for the Arctic Circle Jarmo Kariniemi.


Crossing the Arctic Circle is a highly popular ritual among tourists visiting the Santa Claus Village from across the globe.


Mukherjee saw the gifts and letters sent to Santa from across the world.


Mukherjee, who visited the Santa Claus Village covered in light snow, was greeted by the elves at Santa's office.


Rovaniemi is located on the Arctic Circle at 66.5 degrees north latitude. This latitude marks the southern boundary of the Arctic region, known for its sunless winter days and night less summer nights.


Santa operates from his office housed in the same village where visitors can meet him throughout the year and ask him to grant their wishes.


Mukherjee had arrived in Finland on Tuesday for an official visit after completing his visit to Norway. He was received by Secretary of State Peter Stenlund at the airport in Helsinki.


India and Finland signed 19 pacts on government-to-government, business-to-business as well as institution-to-institution level in the field of energy, education, fishing and science and technology during Mukherjee's visit to Finland.


It was the first visit by an Indian President to Finland in 26 years. Late President R. Venkataraman had visited the country in 1988. Mukherjee had travelled to Finland as commerce minister in 1993.


Mukherjee has since returned to India.

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