The City of Helsinki celebrates its 470th anniversary on 12 June 2020. This year, the capital has transferred its annual Helsinki Day festivities online to its video streaming service and social media accounts. The diverse programme begins with a ceremony to present distinguished Helsinki residents with awards, and continues with a visit to the Herttoniemi Manor, a music performance for children, circus fun and samba dancing. Pop sensation ALMA will cap off the day with a spectacular virtual performance.
Helsinki Day 2020 on 12 June will start with the traditional ‘Helsinki says Thank You’ ceremony honouring Helsinki residents who have made remarkable contributions to the fields of art, science, sports and sustainable development. This year the ceremony will be shown live on the city’s own video service Helsinki-kanava, starting at 10 am.
Helsinki’s Mayor and Deputy Mayors will present the following awards:
- Helsinki Culture Award 2020
- Helsinki Artists of the Year
- Helsinki Science Award 2020
- Helsinki 2020 research grants
- Helsinki Athlete of the Year
- Young Helsinki Athlete of the Year
- Helsinki Coach of the Year
- Helsinki Sports Club of the Year
- Helsinki Environmental Award
- Youth scholarships
The ‘Helsinki says Thank You’ awards ceremony will be livestreamed on 12 June starting at 10 am on the Helsinki-kanava video service.
To see the rest of the Helsinki Day programme, please consult the website at www.helsinkipaiva.fi.
Celebrating Helsinki Day throughout the city
A glimpse of country life from the Herttoniemi Manor
Join us at the Herttoniemi Manor House in eastern Helsinki to tour the on-site museum and the city gardener’s henhouse. Viewers are welcome to submit name suggestions for the new rooster and watch the very first harvest of new potatoes. The winner of the rooster-naming competition will be rewarded with some fresh manor-grown rhubarb!
Helsinki Day at Herttoniemi Manor, 10 am to 1 pm on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
Rock and roll from Kontula
This year’s festival in the northeast Helsinki neighbourhood of Kontula will feature an energizing music performance from J. HEARTHILL TRINITY with FRIENDS, recorded at the Kontula Youth Activity Centre Luuppi; the same place the Hearthill band got its start in 1986. An eclectic mix of evergreens, desert swing, country punk and garage rock & roll with a touch of burlesque is in store.
OstariFestarin Internet special, 5 pm on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
Naming this year’s Helsinki slang royalty
Stadin Slangi is a slang appreciation organisation that promotes and cultivates Helsinki’s unique urban vocabulary. Each year the group names its slang man and woman of the year, or as they say it in slang: ‘Stadin Kundi ja Friidu’, on Helsinki Day. This year’s ceremony will take place online and include music from the Sakilaiset trio.
Stadin Kundi ja Friidu, 12 pm on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
Sharing an al fresco dinner and rhubarb cake
A piece of delicious rhubarb cake is the staple of Helsinki Day each year, and this year the city will serve it to residents of over 40 care homes, day cares and assisted-living facilities, as well as to customers of many municipal service location cafeterias. Traditionally, the City of Helsinki has also served the cake to the public as part of a morning coffee invite on Helsinki Day, but this year, social distancing residents of the city are encouraged to bake their own rhubarb cake at home. The city has shared the famous recipe (in Finnish).
Another popular tradition, an al fresco dinner at tables set up along the Esplanadi boulevard, will also be arranged virtually this year in response to the covid-19 pandemic. Sign up at the address below to reserve a place at the virtual table.
Virtual Dinner Under the Helsinki Sky, 7-10 pm on 12 June, illallinentaivaanalla.yhteismaa.fi/en/
Music and dancing for kids
Children are welcome to participate in Helsinki Day celebrations by singing and dancing along to catchy tunes from the children’s music groups Mimmit and Mutaveijarit. Starting at 1 pm, the Mimmit duo will perform songs in Finnish and Swedish with Finnish sign language interpretation.
Helsinki Day concert from the children’s music duo Mimmit, 1 pm on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
The energetic musical group Mutaveijarit will transport children and their families to a land of muddy fun and adventure later in the day, starting at 4 pm.
Helsinki Day concert from the children’s music group Mutaveijarit, 4 pm on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
Helsinki Philharmonic congratulates the city with a Sibelius concert
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra will commemorate the capital’s 470th birthday with music from Finland’s iconic composer, Jean Sibelius. Tune into the Helsinki-kanava at 10:30 am to hear ensembles from the orchestra play Sibelius’s Prelude and Andante Festivo.
Helsinki Day HKO fanfare, 10:30 am on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
Samba Carnival brings the gift of rhythm and dance
The Samba Carnival enlivens Helsinki each year with its colourful costumes and infectious music, and this year’s Helsinki Day is no exception. Expect colourful carnival processions, a fantasy costume contest and an evening carnival party, even if all the fun has been moved online. The mellow sounds of the band Samba de Pagode will invigorate your senses and free dance lessons will get you on your feet.
Helsinki Samba Carnival, 2 pm on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
Circus tricks from Helsinki’s amusement park
Performers between the ages of 14 and 24 from the Linnanmäki Amusement Park circus school have put together an entertaining virtual performance based on their personal experiences from the last months. Circus arts teachers Maiju Mustonen and Kimmo Hietanen led the remote instruction of the troupe.
Performance from the Linnanmäki circus school, 10 am to midnight on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
Grand finale: Singing sensation ALMA performs her debut album
ALMA, the vocalist everyone is talking about these days in Finland, will end Helsinki’s birthday on a high note on Friday by singing songs from her highly anticipated debut album Have U Seen Her? as a special Helsinki Day Cyber Concert. The performance will be livestreamed on the city’s own Helsinki-kanava video channel, the website burst.fi and ALMA’s YouTube channel. Audience members can join ALMA as she dives into a dream world by participating in the virtual show with avatars. The concert is being jointly organised by the City of Helsinki, the VR production company Zoan, and PME Records.
Have U Seen Her? Helsinki Day Cyber Concert from ALMA, 9 pm on 12 June, www.helsinkikanava.fi
Visit the Helsinki Day website at www.helsinkipaiva.fi to see the full programme.
The celebration of the Helsinki Day on 12 June is coordinated by the Helsinki Events Foundation. The foundation is responsible for organising several other public events in Helsinki, such as the Helsinki Festival, Lux Helsinki and New Year’s celebrations, as well as the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market and Helsinki Christmas Market.