The City of Helsinki annually organises a number of public events. Helsinki Day, the main event, is on 12 June. The traditional New Year's celebration organised by the City is held on the Senate Square. The annual Lux Helsinki light art festival illuminates the city during the darkest season of the year in early January.
Helsinki Festival is held annually in August-September.
The Baltic Herring Fair is the oldest of Helsinki’s traditional events and dates back to 1743. The fair takes place at the Market Square in October. The St. Thomas Christmas Market is a traditional happening organised by the City of Helsinki that brings vendors to red booths on the Senate Square to sell handicraft and other domestic products including Christmas delicacies, ceramics, leather goods, woollen garments, furs, jewellery and Christmas decorations.
For young people, there are two large venues: Loiste Festival and Reaktori, a youth winter holiday event. Reaktori is Finland’s largest programme for young people during the school winter break and is held at Messukeskus in Pasila. The event invites everyone 13-18 years of age in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area to come and enjoy the winter holiday together. Loiste Festival ("Loistefestari") takes over much of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in the Spring. Loiste Festival gives young people opportunities to perform at high-quality venues.
Happenings throughout the city
Seurasaari Island offers tradition and magic on one Sunday in December. The Seurasaari Christmas Path for children and families offers visitors a peak into the fairytale world and old-time Christmas.
Restaurant Day (Ravintolapäivä), organised at three-month intervals, represents present-day Helsinki city culture at its best. Anyone can open a pop-up restaurant or café for one day. The event relies on volunteer effort and individual initiative.
Cleaning Day is a celebration of recycling, friends of second-hand goods and city culture. The day turns cities into vast flea markets where anyone can sell or give away their extra goods.