Turku opens the Christmas season in the traditional way, on the first Advent weekend. Seasonal lights will be lit this week, and on Saturday 27 November, there will be a big opening day, with plenty of programme for people of all ages.

The seasonal lighting sites, familiar from the previous year, are gradually starting to shine during the last week of November. The Christmas lights of the Kupittaa bird ponds and the Traffic Town will be lit on Friday 26 November at 18:00. The light balls of Brahenpuisto (Brahe Park) and Porthaninpuisto (Porthan Park), the illuminated horn heads of the Asemanpuisto (Railway Station Park), and the red light balls of the Svante Dahlströmin puistikko (Svante Dahlström’s Park) will also be lit as the Advent weekend approaches. Teatterisilta (Theatre Bridge) will be transformed with a theme of the Hobbit adventure, which has just received its premiere in the Turku City Theatre.

Christmas Opening

On Saturday 27 November, a large Christmas Opening event will be held in a largely traditional manner.

Photo: Denisse Islas

In the spirit of the 10th anniversary of the Turku Capital of Culture year, at nightfall, families can gather for a lantern parade, taking Christmas light from the Theatre Bridge (Teatterisilta) to the Turku Cathedral Square (Tuomiokirkontori). The lanterns can be prepared beforehand in accordance with the Adventure Park instructions. Instructions can be found at turku.fi/valonpolku/oheisohjelma/lyhtyprojekti (in Finnish)

Tuuli Paasolainen's band is playing children’s music at the Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Celebration. The church rats Hilda and Hulda lead the celebration to the highlight of the evening, a joint countdown that lights the 722 lamps on the Cathedral’s Christmas tree. Dean Aulikki Mäkinen will give the Christmas greeting in the event.

From the shine of the spruce's lights one can go and admire the dazzling tricks of the Fire Show at the Old Great Square Christmas Market. After this, there will be an illuminated Christmas parade, starting from the Kirjastosilta (Library Bridge) by the River Aurajoki, and leading the people towards the Fairytale Christmas Opening in Yliopistonkatu street.

The Parade includes the parade girls, the Metsänkävijät band, the snow princesses, as well as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, together with the dancing elves. The elf girl brings with her the Christmas light in the parade and gives it to the Snow Queen, who lights up the Christmas lights on the pedestrian street in their full glory. The Fairytale Christmas Opening programme includes Jessica Uussaari singing and playing.

Parade 2019, by Timo Jakonen

The programme of the Great Christmas Opening on 27 November

  • At 14:45 Families lantern parade from the Theatre Bridge.
  • At 15:45 Cathedral’s Christmas Tree celebration: children’s music, Church rats, Tuuli Paasolainen’s band, and the lighting of the Christmas tree’s lights.
  • At 16:30 The Fire Show at the Old Great Square Christmas Market
  • At 17:00 Christmas Parade to the Fairytale Christmas Opening in Yliopistonkatu street.
  • At 18:00 Christmas lights will be lit on the pedestrian street.

Atmosphere and Christmas scents on the Christmas Market

Atmospheric Christmas Markets will be organised in Turku, throughout December. The most famous of them, the Christmas Market at the Old Great Square, will be launched on the Christmas Opening weekend on 27 November, and will be open on four Advent weekends before Christmas, on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 to 17. In addition to sales booths, the Old Great Square has a variety of programme, a play, music, and circus. Of course, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus can also be met on the market.

The New Design Christmas Market brings together Turku design, interior decoration, clothing, and jewellery in the old Rettig plant on 27–28 November. On the Christmas Opening on 27 November, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova's museum shop also offers Christmas atmosphere and mulled wine.


Other Christmas markets and events can be found at turku.fi/en/christmas-city


Please take part in the events only when you are healthy. Current restrictions should be checked on the organisers' website.