2020 holiday lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

As is tradition, the Christmas season opens at the Senate Square on Saturday 27 November

The opening ceremony of Helsinki’s Christmas season will start on Saturday 27 November at 15:00 on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral.  Helsinki’s Christmas street will be opened by the Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen, together with the Mayor of the city of Rovaniemi Ulla-Kirsikka Vainio. This year, the Helsinki city centre will be decorated with Christmas lights for the 73rd time. The tradition started in 1949, as the merchants of Aleksanterinkatu and its immediate surroundings decorated the streets with tree needles and lights for the residents’ enjoyment.

The programme includes Christmas greetings from the Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen, the Mayor of Rovaniemi Ulla-Kirsikka Vainio, the chaplain of the Cathedral parish Sirkka-Liisa Raunio and Santa Claus.

– The opening of Aleksanterinkatu Christmas Street and Christmas season are valuable traditions that bring us all together to enjoy the beauty of the city as it gets ready for Christmas, while adding to the appeal of the city centre. This year, as the new Mayor of Helsinki, I have the pleasure and honour of lighting the Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights for the first time, enthuses Mayor Vartiainen.

The event will be hosted by Mikko Kuustonen. The performers include Linda Lampenius, Osmo Ikonen with his orchestra and an SM-level elf breakdance group.

The stage show at the Senate Square will be broadcast live on Helsinki-kanava, so you can follow it from the comfort of your own home.

The event will culminate in a traditional Christmas parade featuring traditional and new Christmas characters as well as animal and other mascots.


At 15:00 the Senate Square opens to the public
At 15:30 the official part of the programme starts on stage
At 16:30 the Christmas parade starts its tour around the city centre, arriving at the Helsinki Christmas Market on the Helsinki Market Square.

This year’s Christmas opening ceremony will be organised in partnership with Santa Claus’ hometown Rovaniemi.
This year, the opening ceremony will be a two-day event.

The main organiser of the event is Helsinki City Markkinointi ry, which is a cooperation body of property owners, entrepreneurs and the City of Helsinki.

Helsinki Christmas Market is a responsible Christmas event

The 2021 Helsinki Christmas Market is set to launch on 27 November along with the annual Aleksanterinkatu Christmas Street event. The Christmas market will run until 22 December, which means visitors have almost a full month to explore the wide variety of high-quality Finnish crafts, gifts and foods on offer.

Helsinki Christmas Market will be held on the Market Square from 27 November to 22 December 2021.The opening hours will be Monday to Thursday, 11:00–19:00 and Friday to Sunday, 11:00–20:00. Independence Day opening hours 11:00–16:00. Free admission.

Read more:

The opening ceremony of Helsinki’s Christmas season  (Helsinki City Markkinointi ry)

Helsingin City Markkinointi’s Youtube channel

Foto: Pekka Lähteenmäki

The news has been published on 16.11. and has been updated on 22.11. and 25.11.