Helsinki Christmas Market at Senate Square. Photo: Jussi Hellsten.

Finland 100 celebrations further enliven the Christmas season in Helsinki

This year the Christmas season in Helsinki promises to be more eventful than ever. In addition to all our traditional Christmas events, we will be celebrating the 100 th anniversary of Finnish independence for two whole days – on 5 and 6 December 2017. The Christmas season in Helsinki stretches from the end of November all the way to the beginning of January, during which period the theme of “light” will entertain locals and visitors alike while livening up the city in many ways. The full programme can be found on the MyHelsinki website.

Christmas in Helsinki will be full of events and a wonderful atmosphere this year. Traditional Christmas events, such as the opening of the Christmas street, the Helsinki Christmas Market and the Lucia Parade, will be joined by many new happenings and experiences.

For example, a family fun run will take place around Finlandia Hall on 2 December, while Christmas Paths will attract families to Vuosaari on 3 December and Seurasaari on 10 December. In the Esplanade Park, traditional Finnish Christmas food will meet flavours from around the world when the NUUR pop-up café and shop opens on the Espa Stage on 4 December. Meanwhile, visitors can enjoy a Christmas sauna at the Helsinki Christmas Market in Senate Square, and the Allas Sea Pool will be celebrating the season with lights and water.

Finland’s 100th birthday to be celebrated over two days

This year 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 Helsinki throughout 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. The City’s major ongoing construction sites will also get illuminations or flag flying; YIT’s Tripla in Pasila, SRV’s Redi in Kalasatama and the construction site of Kesko’s K-kampus.

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.

See the complete programme for the Christmas season and the Independence Day celebrations in Helsinki:

Special traffic arrangements will be in made in the city centre during the Independence Day celebrations on 5-6 December.


Helsinki Marketing is a marketing company owned by the City of Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing is responsible for Helsinki’s operative city marketing and business partnerships. Helsinki Marketing works in close cooperation with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts.