The Helsinki Baltic Herring Market, a local tradition since 1743, is held 6–12 October 2019. Photo: Eetu Ahanen

Helsinki Baltic Herring Market to feature 32 fishermen, Lighthouse Boat Vinga and traditional sailing vessels

The Helsinki Baltic Herring Market will be held at the Helsinki Market Square 6–12 October 2019. The Market Square, the western harbour basin known as Cholera Basin, and the Lyypekinlaituri waterfront at the square will be filled with fishermen, seasonal delicacies and diverse programme from Sunday to Saturday. Thirty fishermen will be selling their products at the market.

Fishermen will sell their products directly from boats and from booths. The market will be open from 9 to 19 (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) Sunday to Friday, and from 7 to 15 (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) on Saturday.

In addition to fishermen, the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market will be joined by local and organic food vendors. The traditional sailing vessels Albanus, Vivan, Olga, Joanna Saturna and Valborg will be moored at the square throughout the week. The vessels can be visited during market hours, and there will be more food sales on the vessels. The Baltic Herring Market will be followed immediately by a theme day celebrating traditional sailing vessels on 12 October, which will bring Finland’s tall ships to the South Harbour.

Lighthouse Boat Vinga to serve as the market stage

Lighthouse Boat Vinga, built in 1926, will be the stage and arena for the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market’s programme. Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori will declare the market open on Vinga’s deck at 11 a.m. on 6 October.

On the opening day, Vinga will host the Herring Jury, tasked to taste and evaluate the traditional seasoned herrings and the herring surprises on sale. The winners will be announced in the afternoon from the stage on Vinga’s deck.

Vinga’s deck will also host The Helsinki Distilling Company’s Aquavit Bar, offering cold and hot drinks and snacks.

Map of Helsinki Baltic Herring Market

The numbered participants of the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market at Market Square, from top to bottom and from left to right: political parties, fishermen’s trucks and vans, and refrigerator trucks and vans; coffee tents on the opening day and fishermen’s booths; fishermen’s boats, sailing vessels, moored boats and booths

Highlights of Helsinki Baltic Herring Market’s programme 

  • 6 October: Church boats rowed from Töölö Bay to Market Square, rowers gathering on Vinga’s deck at 12 noon 
  • 7–11 October, 9–12 and 13–15: Fishing at the pier of Keisarinluodonlaituri 
  • 7 October, 17–19: Ode to the Baltic Herring and Baltic Fish – discussion on fishing and Baltic Sea protection. John Nurminen Foundation’s evening talk at City Hall’s event plaza. 
  • 10 October, 19–23: Poetry Club at Lighthouse Boat. The club evening starts with sea-themed readings by guest poets, after which everybody is welcome to read their poems at the open mic session. 
  • 12–13 October: Finland’s tall ships entering the harbour from 16 onwards on 12 October, mooring at Cholera Basin and Lyypekinlaituri. The ships welcome visitors on Sunday, 13 October, 10–16, after which they return to their home harbours
  • Helsinki City Museum’s Children’s Town welcomes families and other visitors to join playful image orienteering. Participants are immersed in the Helsinki of a hundred years ago to look for Musti the dog lost by a boy named Eino from photos by Signe Brander. Can Musti be found at the square that smells of fish or from the angling peer?

Read more:

Helsinki Baltic Herring Market and programme

Helsinki Baltic Herring Market on Facebook and Instagram