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Coronavirus outbreak

End of Winter War celebration at Helsinki Cathedral cancelled

EU Speakers Conference cancelled

Published : 13 Mar 2020, 01:39

  DF Report

The 80th anniversary of the Winter War was observed. File Photo Finnish government by Jussi Toivanen.

The 80th anniversary of the end of the Winter War, scheduled to be celebrated at the Helsinki Cathedral on Friday , March 13 has been cancelled due of the coronavirus outbreak, said an official press release.

The memorial coffee for the public at Senate Square is also cancelled.

The government on Thursday issued a recommendation today to cancel all major seminars and events organised by the state until the end of May.

To mark the end of the Winter War, bells will ring out in all of Finland’s Lutheran, Orthodox and Catholic churches at 10.55–11.00 on the commemoration day.

The ringing of the bells will commemorate the exact moment when the war ended. The peace treaty between Finland and the Soviet Union entered into force on 13 March 1940 at 11.00.

While the bells ring, 105 candles will be lit on the steps of Helsinki Cathedral – one for each day of the Winter War, which began on 30 November 1939. Across Finland, candles will be lit at war graves and Winter War memorials.

In honour of the 80th anniversary of the end of the Winter War, the Ministry of the Interior recommended that the national flag be flown throughout the country.

Flags are to be raised at 8.00 and lowered at sunset. All government agencies and public bodies will fly the flag to mark the national commemoration.

Meanwhile, the EU Speakers Conference in Helsinki scheduled for May also has been cancelled due to measures related to the containment of the COVID-19 virus, said a press release issued by the parliament.

The next EU Speakers Conference will be organised in Berlin in the spring of 2021.