Charity Christmas expected to attract 1000 people
More than a thousand people are expected to attend a charity Christmas event in Helsinki today, for people who find themselves on their own or homeless or without enough money to buy food this year. The Hursti Foundation in Helsinki is organising its annual meal with traditional ham and vegetable casseroles, as well as singing Christmas carols. Food has been donated by local companies, and a hundred people have volunteered to serve the dinner to those attending.
Strike could hit Finnair flights today
A ban on overtime and shift swaps by pilots at Norra airlines could have a knock-on effect for some Finnair flights. Some 250 pilots are covered by the collective agreement, which sees the overtime ban start today. Norra operates a number of domestic and regional flights on behalf of Finnair, who says it’s difficult to estimate in advance what the impact – if any – could be for passengers who turn up to airports and expect to get on a flight. As always, check with the airline or airport about your flight status in advance.
President Halonen’s landmark birthday
Former Finnish President Tarja Halonen celebrates her 75th birthday today, on Christmas Eve. The Social Democrat politician studied law at university, and worked as a trade union activist before becoming more active in politics and being elected to parliament. She served as social and health minister, justice minister and foreign minister before becoming Finland’s first female president, elected for two terms from 2000 to 2012.
Christmas Eve opening times
For the first time ever, Finland’s state-run alcohol shops Alko are open on Christmas Eve. This morning the stores are open from 09:00 to 12:00 noon for anyone stocking up on last minute Christmas booze. It comes as a result of a change in licensing laws which came into force at the start of 2018. Other shops are likely to be closed today or have limited opening hours – bigger supermarkets could be open until early afternoon. There’s also reduced services on public transport and long distance trains today and tomorrow with schedules getting back to normal after Christmas.
Monday morning weather:
It’s a cold Christmas Eve across the whole country on Monday morning. Temperatures are down to -24°C in parts of east central Finland, -18°C om Lapland and -12°C in the capital city region. There’s plenty of white stuff to go around this morning as well, with snow forecast in Lappeenranta and the south east; Turku and the south west; Tampere and Pirkanmaa; Jyväskylä and central Finland; Joensuu, Kuopio, Kuusamo, Rovaniemi and across southern Lapland.