Office of the President of the Republic
Press Release 57/2015
9 November 2015
This year, the theme of the Independence Day Reception of the President of the Republic is culture. President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and his spouse Jenni Haukio will invite to the Presidential Palace close to 1,800 guests who have distinguished themselves in various walks of Finnish society. The first invitations have been mailed.
In many ways, this year marks an anniversary of Finnish culture: the 180th anniversary of the Finnish national epic Kalevala, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius, Akseli Gallén-Kallela and Pekka Halonen, and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tapio Wirkkala, Toivo Kärki and Olavi Virta. The guest list and the reception programme will reflect these anniversaries in various ways.
Guests representing the full spectrum of contemporary culture and minority cultures have also been invited, including a number of people engaged in cultural activities at a grass-roots level.
“Finland boasts incredible talent in many fields of art, and the events held in honour of the anniversaries have offered magnificent experiences. But there is more to culture than high culture. We have a wonderful, rich cultural heritage that is constantly transforming and evolving. Culture is, in many ways, present in our daily lives, and it belongs to everyone,” President Niinistö notes.
Invitees representing the field of sports include this year’s most successful athletes, and the most successful skijumpers of all times. Last year, medal-winning javelin throwers were invited to the Presidential Palace, and nostalgic moments in sporting history will be cherished this year, too. “Skijumping unites all Finns, and has brought us excitement, joy and memorable moments over the years,” President Niinistö says.
This year, as a year earlier, invitees include a large number of war veterans. The presidential couple will have coffee with the veterans after the handshaking ceremony.
More details of the reception programme and other arrangements will be announced later.