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Fourth-formers Independence Day reception

Mayor's independence celebration for fourth-formers

The fourth-formers of the schools in Helsinki are annually invited to an independence reception hosted by the Mayor. Each pupil receives a personal invitation from the Mayor to the ball danced at the Finlandia Hall.

The reception is arranged annually before Finland's official Independence Day. In 2019, the celebration takes place on Wednesday 4 December. The event is now arranged for the 23nd time.

All fourth-formers in the schools of Helsinki are invited to the reception and this year there are also over 6,500 guests in total.

Independence is celebrated at three identical receptions, according to the following time schedules: 1st reception at 09:30 AM – 11.15 AM, 2nd reception at 12.45 PM – 02.30 PM and 3rd reception at 04.00 PM – 05:45 PM.

Celebration splendour in midst of school routines

Mayor Jan Vapaavuori now gets to celebrate with the fourth-formers for the third time. "It is one of the funniest and also one of the most distinguished working duties of the year. The joy of the children is catching and the celebration is an opportunity to recollect how independence is a happy thing that relates to everyone. I think that the Independence Day celebration for fourth-formers is one of the City's most important traditions."

After the handshaking with the hosts, the children can familiarise themselves with the reception premises and taste the savouries and sweets designed by Chef Markku Luola and the Finlandia restaurant. Circus Helsinki entertains the celebrating fourth-formers when the guests arrive and queue for the handshaking.

The Mayor gives a speech to his guests, after which representatives of the guests speak both in Finnish and in Swedish. The mood is enhanced by a joint rendition of Maamme/Vårt land to the accompaniment of the Guards Band.

The star artist is a surprise until the celebration day

After the traditional part of the programme, the stage will be taken by a star artist, which will remain a surprise until the celebration day. The star artist is accompanied by houseband Must.

The last few years, a multitude of brilliant performers including Krista Siegfrids, Molly, Elastinen, JVG, Mikael Gabriel and Ellinoora have performed at the celebration.

Dancing whirls intensify the mood

After the concert starts the dance.

The children have prepared for the independence reception by learning traditional dances and good manners in view of the celebration. A couple dancing on the stage directs the dance and helps remember the steps.

The Guards Band is in charge of the entrance music and dance music.

Long-standing tradition

The Mayor's Independence celebration started during the time of Mayor Eva-Riitta Siitonen, who came up with the idea. She thought that it would be important with a festive atmosphere to break up the school children's routines. The first independence celebration for children was arranged in 1997. Mayor Jussi Pajunen hosted the celebration 12 times and described the event as a definite highlight of his working year. 

Every year, the event has also raised international interest.

Follow the celebration on the Helsinki Channel

The Helsinki Channel broadcasts the celebrations of the day live.
You can also watch last year's celebrations on the Helsinki Channel.



JAA
24.04.2019 14:12