Finland’s 100th birthday to be celebrated over two days
This year Finland Independence Day will be widely celebrated also in the nation’s capital as the Republic of Finland turns a hundred. The birthday celebrations in Helsinki will take the form of a two-day city festival, the programme for which is being created together with local residents, communities, and businesses. A new tradition is also being created for Independence Day: a fun and joyful Independence Day Eve.
“It’s great that new ways of celebrating are being created alongside our old traditions and that Finland’s centenary is inspiring locals to do things together. Many of the nation’s most important Independence Day traditions take place in the capital, so Helsinki plays an important role in leading the national celebrations,” says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
The official opening ceremony of the Independence Day celebrations will take place at the Market Square in Helsinki at 6pm on Tuesday 5 December. The birthday celebrations in Helsinki will then end together with the Finland 100 centenary year at 10pm on Wednesday 6 December with an impressive fireworks display over the South Harbour.
Hundreds of events will take place between these two special occasions, inviting locals and visitors to celebrate the nation’s birthday together – both indoors and out, at home and in the city. Exciting ice hockey will be placed at the Helsinki Ice Challenge in Kaisaniemi, the city’s museums and open-air skating rinks will be open, family events will be held in many public libraries, Art goes Kapakka will bring culture to bars and restaurants, choirs will sing throughout the city centre, and many community centres will organise their own local celebrations.
Celebrating Christmas and the New Year with the theme of “light”
This year locals and visitors will be able to enjoy the light in Helsinkithroughout the entire holiday season, as the main theme from the opening of the Christmas street to the beginning of January will be “light”.
The traditional Christmas lights around the Esplanade, Aleksanterinkatu and Senate Square will be further enhanced this year. Special lighting will create a unique atmosphere in the city to mark Finland’s birthday from 5 to 6 December, when major buildings including City Hall, the Presidential Palace, Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki, Finlandia Hall, the Olympic Stadium Tower and the Helsinki Central Library Oodi will be illuminated in blue and white lights. Töölönlahti Park will also feature an interactive light installation entitled “Generation.Now” throughout the Christmas season.
Locals will also be challenged to bring light to the darkest time of the year as part of the Lux Helsinki light festival. Locals can participate in the “Light Challenge” by sharing a photo or video of their own light installation on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #valohaaste.