Celebrating a different kind of New Year’s Eve in the Finnish capital

Helsinki rings in the New Year remotely with a laser show, children’s activities and an orchestra playing EDM.

Coronavirus-related restrictions and recommendations mean that Helsinki is celebrating on December 31, 2020 with a concert broadcast, an online kids’ countdown show and a laser installation projected into the night sky from the tower of the Olympic Stadium.

After a virtual Vappu (Mayday holiday) and a socially distanced Independence Day (December 6), celebrating together but remotely is familiar to people in Finland.

The New Year’s concert takes place in the ballroom at Helsinki City Hall and features the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and many of Finland’s favourite musical artists in EDM, hip-hop and other genres, including Darude, Chisu, Nelli Matula, Redrama, Olavi Uusivirta, MARiANNA, Paleface, Pete Parkkonen, Robin Packalen, Jesse Markin and Tapani Rinne.

The children’s show, Sleepyhead’s New Year’s Eve Countdown, promises fun for the whole family. The website advises partiers to prepare by downloading bingo forms, learning dance moves, getting ready to limbo and popping some popcorn.

In the laser installation, Telegraph of Time, the tower of the Olympic Stadium beams light into the sky for 18 hours during the transition from the last night of the old year to the first day of the new one. The patterns form Morse code messages from the public. You can participate by filling in a form online.

Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori has encouraged everyone to stay home and enjoy the show while welcoming “a better year ahead.” We’re hopeful that at this time next year we’ll be celebrating in a more familiar fashion.