The Christmas Peace will be declared by Mika Akkanen, Manager of International Affairs and Protocol of the City of Turku, from the Balcony of the Brinkkala House on the Christmas Eve, on December 24th, at noon to an empty Old Great Square of Turku.
The declaration will be read without loudspeakers and broadcasted by the Finnish national broadcasting company Yle. The area will be enclosed, the declaration cannot be heard on the Old Great Square, and no audience is allowed on the area.
This is the first time in the history of the City of Turku that the Declaration will take place without an audience.
- The centuries-old tradition of the Declaration will not be interrupted, and the City of Turku will declare the Christmas Peace just as before. This traditional beginning of the Christmas Eve for many, and an important moment for the Finns, will be broadcasted to all homes through television and radio as usual, says Minna Arve, the Mayor of Turku.
The Declaration of the Christmas Peace has gathered yearly over 10 000 people very closely together to the Old Great Square. The City of Turku is not willing to take any risks with the spreading of the pandemic and has therefore made this unusual decision.
- When other big Christmas Time -events have been cancelled because of the corona pandemic, we thought it best to have the Declaration of the Christmas Peace without an audience on this unusual year of the coronavirus, says Minna Arve.
Yle will broadcast the event on television and radio as usual
The Finnish broadcasting company Yle will broadcast the Declaration on television and radio as usual. The choir, musicians, and the staff of both Yle and the City of Turku will be taking measures to keep the safety distances.
- It is very important for us that the City of Turku will declare the Christmas Peace despite the unusual circumstances. We are hoping that especially those thousands of Turku citizens that usually gather on the Old Great Square to listen to the Declaration of the Christmas Peace understand, that these special arrangements are made so that they would be able to enjoy Christmas safely, even this year, says Mika Akkanen, the Manager of International Affairs and Protocol of the City of Turku.
The Band of the Archipelago Fleet of the Finnish Navy, and the men’s choirs ‘Laulun Ystävät’ and ‘Naskalit’ will be performing on the Old Great Square. Sign language interpreter will also be present at the square.
The program will be as follows:
- at 11.57 a.m. A hymn ‘Jumala ompi linnamme’ (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God’) Finnish Hymn Book, Hymn No. 170, verses 1, 4 at 12.00 The bells of the Turku Cathedral chime 12 times. Ceremonial fanfare of the Finnish military march ‘Marsalkan hopeatorvet’ composed by Artturi Rope.
- The Christmas Peace is declared by Mika Akkanen, Manager of International Affairs and Protocol of the City of Turku.
- The Finnish National Anthem ‘Maamme’ (1. verse in Finnish, 1. verse in Swedish, 2. verse in Finnish)
- The honorary march of the Finnish defence forces ‘Porilaisten marssi’ (March of the Pori Regiment)
Read more on the Declaration of Christmas Peace.