Independence Day plans unveiled for socially-distanced 6th December

The coronavirus pandemic has put an end to the traditional events surrounding Independence Day at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.

President Sauli Niinistö and First Lady Jenni Haukio / Credit: @tpkanslia Instagram

President Niinistö’s office have revealed more detailed plans for this year’s Independence Day celebrations, which are taking place via video links this year.

Usually the focus of the nation is on the Presidential Palace every 6th December but because of the coronavirus situation that type of traditional celebration is not possible. Instead, all Finns are being invited to “celebration Independence Day remotely” according to a statement from the president’s office.

“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 be able to follow events from the palace, and see how the date is being celebrated in different parts of the country.

As usual, war veterans and members of the Lotta Vvärd organisation will be the centre of celebrations – with President Niinistö and First Lady Jenni Haukio meeting them in advance, by video, for a cup of coffee.

During the evening there will be regional broadcasts on television so that viewers can follow what’s happening in other parts of the country, with a programme of music and dancing; and themes like nature, culture and entrepreneurship also being celebrated.