Picture: Tim Bird
Christmas City Turku radiates good and warm spirit. Among the most important elements of the Christmas time feature the Christmas Tree of Turku Cathedral, the Old Great Square Christmas Market, the special events and concerts, and the Declaration of the Christmas Peace which will settle down the whole nation.
All the Christmas happenings of the City of Turku:
The Christmas celebration in Turku starts with the Great Christmas Opening on the 30th of November with the switch-on of the lights on the Christmas tree of Turku Cathedral. This launches the events of Christmas City Turku which will continue untill the 12th of January.
The Old Great Square Christmas Market will get the visitors into the Christmas spirit as usual during four weekends leading up to Christmas starting on the 23rd of November. The artisanal boutiques of the medieval street, Luostarin välikatu, will also be open for the season. The Old Great Square will be full of high-quality handicrafts and Christmas delicacies. There will be also various kinds of music and theatre presentations. You can meet Santa Claus at his workshop. The stand for exchanging Christmas ornaments will be set up again this year and Christmas presents will be collected for charity.
Despite the renovation of the Turku Market Square, the Christmas Market will be organised on the temporary marketplace. There will be plenty of Christmas lights and decorated market stalls at the Christmas Market. Santa Claus will pay visit at the marketplace each Saturday before the Christmas and at the Turku Market Hall during the Great Christmas Opening on the 30th of November.
Exhibitions, Handicrafts and Concerts Get You into the Christmas Spirit
The museums of the City of Turku are full of idyllic traditions. You can follow the Christmas preparations made at the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum and at the Kylämäki Village of Living History. You can get inspired by the spectacular exhibition of the Christmas Table Settings at the Turku Castle, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere at the Qwensel House.
During the special themed tours, you can get familiar with the traditional Christmas celebration, and get to know the origin of the Christmas traditions. There is programme for families with children at the Turku Castle where it might be possible to catch a glimpse of the Old Elf of the Turku Castle.
You can prepare Christmas gifts and decorations in various open workshops in the Adventure Park Seikkailupuisto, in Vimma Art and Activity Centre for Youth, at the Kylämäki Village of Living History and at the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum. You can also prepare gingerbread molds and make a traditional Finnish straw mobile in the workshops and courses organised by the Turku Castle.
The favourite Christmas songs will be presented as jazzy interpretations in the Swinging Christmas Concert of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. Classical music will be presented at the Rejoice concert held in Turku Cathedral.
You can swim under the Christmas lights in the swimming halls of Impivaara and Petrelius. You can also enjoy the traditional Christmas programme in the Turku City Library.
Christmas Walk organised by Visit Turku takes the participants to see some of the event venues of the Christmas City, and tells about the Christmas traditions in Turku and in Finland on a walking tour.
Declaration of the Christmas Peace Settles Down the Whole Nation
The Christmas Peace will be declared as usual on the Christmas Eve from the balcony of the Brinkkala House. The declaration will be read aloud in Finnish and in Swedish already for the seventh time by Mika Akkanen, Manager of International Affairs of the City of Turku.
We suggest you to go to see the dance fairytale, the Snow Queen, at the Swedish speaking theatre (ÅST) in Turku during the Christmas holiday. The presentation is multilingual, and it is meant for the whole family. The traditional Boxing Day songs can be heard at the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum. You can also get a forecast for the New Year in the wagon shed of the Qwensel House.
Families with children are invited to spend a nice day at Kupittaa on the New Year’s Eve. The activities of the Christmas Season will end by the ice skating organized at the Park Field and by the event of the Saint Knut’s Day at the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum on the 12th of January.
The Happenings of the Christmas City Turku:
The Old Great Square Christmas Market
Organised on four weekends before the Christmas 23.–24.11., 30.11.–1.12., 7.–8.12. and 14.–15.12.2019 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Great Christmas Opening on the 30th of November
3.45 p.m. Singing and playing Christmas carols at the Turku Cathedral Square
4.10 p.m. Switch-on of the lights on the Christmas Tree of Turku Cathedral
4.30 p.m. Fire Show at the Old Great Square
4.45 p.m. Fabulous Christmas Parade (depart in front of the Museum of History and Contemporary Art in Turku, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova)
5.00 p.m. Opening Show of the Christmas Street and the switch-on of the Christmas Lights on the pedestrian street Yliopistonkatu
Christmas Happening at the Turku City Library on the 30th of November
11 a.m. Children’s theatre presentation (in Finnish) ‘Minttu-tonttu ja kadonnut kalenterisuklaa’ presented by Treeniteatteri Theatre Group
from noon to 2 p.m. Preparing Christmas Crafts
from 2 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. Singing along Christmas songs
The Most Beautiful Christmas Carols
You can sing Christmas carols in various events during the Christmas season. Events are organized in various churches and other event venues in the Turku region. Further information
On Saturdays from the 23rd of November to the 28th of December from 1 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
Guided tours in Finnish, Swedish and English.
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra: Swinging Christmas Concert
5.12. at 7 p.m. at Turku Concert Hall
Christmas Path: Theme Day for Children
7.12. There will be plenty of programme in the city centre including workshops and other activities for families with children.
Ecumenical Christmas in Turku
11.12. at 6 p.m. at the Turku Cathedral with the theme ’No one will be left alone’. The event will be recorded.
12.12. Classical music will create Christmas atmosphere at Turku Cathedral on occasion of Rejoice concert organized by Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.
St. Lucia Day
13.12. Glogg will be served in the wagon shed of the Qwensel House and the Pharmacy Museum from noon to 2 p.m. Children present songs at 1 p.m. Service takes place at Turku Cathedral at 5.30 p.m. The Lucia maiden walks in a procession of candles in Hansa shopping mall at 7 p.m.
Feast of the Traditional Finnish Christmas Rice Pudding
21.12. You are welcome to a feast of the traditional Finnish Christmas rice pudding in the corner of the Market Square on the 21st of December from noon to 2 p.m.
The Declaration of the Christmas Peace
24.12. The declaration of the Christmas Peace will take place at the Old Great Square on the 24th of December from 11.30 a.m. to quarter past noon. The declaration will be read aloud by Mika Akkanen, Manager of International Affairs of the City of Turku.
Christmas Eve in the Turku City Library
24.12. There is Christmas programme in the Turku City Library on the 24th of December from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Boxing Day Singing Event at the Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum
26.12. The boys of the music class of the Puolalanmäki Upper Secondary School perform traditional songs on the Boxing Day on the Luostarinmäki Hill on the 26th of December at 3 p.m. You can join a guided Christmas tour before their performance at 1.45 p.m. The tour is held in Finnish and lasts about one hour.
New Year Celebration in Turku
31.12. from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Children’s New Year will be celebrated at Kupittaa. There will be the Sports Wonderland for Children at Kupittaa Sports Hall, as well as a snow design workshop and the fireworks for the families with children.
Traditional fireworks on Samppalinnanmäki Hill at midnight.
Turku Castle: Time Travel
4.–5.1. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There will be versatile programme and workshops organised for the families with children.
Ice Skating on Epiphany Event
6.1. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Park Field
Saint Knut’s Day Event for the Whole Family
12.1. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
You are welcome to join the celebration of the Saint Knut’s Day ending the Christmas season on the Luostarinmäki Hill. You can get familiar with the last Christmas dishes of the season and see how daily tasks will be restarted after the Christmas celebrations. You can meet the fellow of the Saint Knut’s Day and say goodbye to Christmas and to the holiday season. The fellow will pay a visit on the Luostarinmäki Hill at 11.30 a.m., at half past noon, at 1.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.
All the Christmas Happenings of the City of Turku: www.turku.fi/en/christmas-city