Whole of Finland to celebrate Independence Day together in a new way

Office of the President of the Republic
Press release 24/2020
17 November 2020

Finland’s Independence Day will be celebrated this year in a new way. Instead of the traditional reception, President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio have invited all Finns to celebrate Independence Day remotely.

“Independence will be celebrated at the Presidential Palace in a different way than before. In the exceptional circumstances, we can convey an atmosphere that I would describe in words as looking Finland in the eye. To experience the nation’s unique success story and recognise the strengths with which all difficulties have been and will be overcome,” says President Niinistö.

During the evening, viewers will follow events from the Presidential Palace and see how Independence Day is celebrated in different parts of Finland.

Respecting tradition

In the traditional way, war veterans and members of the Lotta Svärd will be honoured on Independence Day. The presidential couple will meet up with them over coffee before Independence Day and by remote connection.

Performing art programme

Entertainment on the evening of Independence Day will be provided by Finnish performing art, ranging from music to dance and theatre. Among those performing at the Presidential Palace will be Aarne Pelkonen, Diandra, the YL Male Voice Choir, The Guards Band, kantele artist Ida Elina and actors Seela Sella and Esko Salminen. The first waltz of the evening will be performed by dancers of the Finnish National Ballet.

Regional broadcasts covering the whole of Finland

During the evening, viewers will also be able to follow how independence is celebrated in different parts of Finland. Different fields of society will be introduced. The themes of the regional broadcasts will cover, among other things, the welfare society, work and entrepreneurship, volunteer work, Finnish nature and Sámi culture. In addition, there will be an opportunity to hear the thoughts of children and youth as well as conscripts.

In partnership with YLE

The celebration will be organised in partnership with Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, which will broadcast the Independence Day events live on Sunday, 6 December from 7.30 to 10 pm on channel Yle TV 1. Viewers will also have the opportunity to send their own greetings to the evening’s broadcast.

The programme will be hosted by Ella Kanninen and Jussi-Pekka Rantanen. The broadcast will be in Finnish and Swedish.