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Christmas events in Helsinki

Posted By Guru4Travel on Jan 05, 2015 at 8:31AM

Christmas events bring light and joy

The Christmas season begins in Helsinki when the lights are turned on along the traditional Christmas street Aleksanterinkatu at the end of November. During the run-up to the holidays, shoppers flock to the Christmas markets throughout the city. The Christmas spirit can also be enjoyed by attending one of the many carol singing and other concerts. The Christmas season culminates with the spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations in Senate Square.

Christmas lights along Aleksanterinkatu

The Christmas lights along Aleksanterinkatu, the main shopping in the city centre, will be turned on for the 66th year in a row on 23 November 2014. Shopkeepers along Aleksanterinkatu initiated the tradition back in 1949 in order to bring light and hope to the city’s residents, who were still recovering from the war. Over the years the event has come to signify the opening of the Christmas season and is even attended by Santa Claus, who arrives from Lapland to greet the children and all his fans.

Christmas events in Helsinki

Opening of the Christmas street festivities begin at 2:30pm in Senate Square, and the Christmas lights are turned on at 4pm. At the same time the traditional Christmas window display at Stockmann’s department store is unveiled, having been a familiar part of the Christmas season in Helsinki for over 60 years.

Christmas events in Helsinki

Gift ideas and treats from Christmas markets

Helsinki has numerous Christmas markets offering great gift ideas and seasonal treats throughout the city.

Christmas events in Helsinki

The biggest Christmas markets are the St. Thomas Christmas Market in Senate Square on 8-21 December, Women's Christmas Fair at Wanha Satama in Katajanokka on 3-7 December, and Ornamo’s Design Christmas Market on 5-7 December.

Cable Factory’s Merikaapelihalli transforms into a huge Christmas market
during 12-21 December. The new Christmas festival Kaapelin joulu introduces products from 150 artisans, designers and craftsmen and offers workshops and other programme in the spirit of Christmas.

Christmas events in Helsinki

For fresh design, innovative ideas and new art, check out also the Christmas markets at the Korjaamo Culture Factory on two weekends 13-14 December and 20-21 December, the We Got Beef bar on Iso-Roobertinkatu and the Tori Quarters between Senate Square and the Market Square.

Winter Circus Dream combines dance and circus

Dance Theatre Hurjaruuth's annual Winter Circus is a warm-hearted show suitable for all ages, and a tradition for many families.

Christmas events in Helsinki

This holiday season you can drift into the world of dreams with Winter Circus Dream that is filled with acro­bats, sleep walk­ers, magi­cians and vir­tu­osos of every kind.

Winter Circus Dream premieres at Cable Factory's Kaapelihalli on 6 November, and continues until 6 January 2015.

Suomenlinna Christmas Event

This traditional Christmas event at Suomenlinna takes place over two days on the first advent 29-30 November. Suomenlinna’s Christmas weekend offers a full programme of events and activities for the whole family, including the popular Fortress Gnome's route around the fortress.

Christmas events in Helsinki

The cafés, restaurants and artisan workshops will also be open selling traditional treats and beautiful gifts.

Lucia Parade lights up the city

The traditional Lucia Parade on 13 December is a festival of light during wintertime. Each year a young maiden is selected to represent Saint Lucia, receiving her crown of candles at Helsinki Cathedral before descending the steps to Senate Square.

Christmas events in Helsinki

Lucia is crowned at 5pm. The Lucia Parade begins at 6pm and continues down Aleksanterinkatu where you can catch a glimpse of Lucia along with Christmas elves, horses and historic cars.

Seurasaari Christmas Path

The Seurasaari Christmas Path is a free-of-charge event for families and children taking place on 14 December at 1pm-5pm. The event offers a glimpse into the world of fairy tales, old Finnish Christmas traditions and the basic message of Christmas.

Christmas events in Helsinki

Animals of the forest can be spotted along the Christmas Path, which is being staged for the 19th year in 2014. You can also enjoy a wide range of events and activities.

Christmas concerts

Throughout the holiday season, Christmas music can be enjoyed in the churches and concert halls of Helsinki. The traditional Christmas concerts performed by the YL Male Voice Choir and Cantores Minores, the Choir of Boys and Young Men of Helsinki Cathedral, are particularly popular. Carol concerts are also held in many churches and are a great way of getting into the Christmas spirit.

New Year’s Eve celebrations in Senate Square

On New Year’s Eve people flock to Senate Square to enjoy the official celebrations. The programme begins with a speech by the mayor and continues with special performances of music, dance and magic.

Christmas events in Helsinki

5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Happy New Year! At midnight the sky fills with spectacular fireworks.

Welcome to the party in Helsinki!

For more information contact VisitHelsinki

Photos: VisitHelsinki.fi and City of Helsinki Material Bank/Seppo Laakso

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