The city of Espoo staged Finland’s first firework-free New Year’s Eve celebration on Monday night, ditching pyrotechnics for a lavish laser show instead.
The move came on sustainability grounds, and to try something different as the city reintroduced an official public celebration for the first time in many years.
“We want to respond to the demand for such a celebration” said Lea Rintala, Espoo’s Manager of Event and Cultural Services.
“At present, we do not see traditional fireworks as the right choice considering their environmental impact […] we want to stay true to the city’s values and lead the way in a more sustainable way of celebrating New Year’s Eve and event culture” Rintala added.
There was a no-fly zone in place around Espoo’s cathedral and along the banks of the Espoonjoki river while the laser show was taking place in Kirkkonpuisto.
Apart from the lasers, there were moving light installations and music – some of which was chosen by local residents in a social media poll.
According to Finnish Customs Tulli, the country imported almost €3 million worth of fireworks in 2017 – all from China.