Saturday January 16, 2021

Xmas celebrations begin maintaining safety measures

Published : 24 Dec 2020, 21:04

Updated : 24 Dec 2020, 21:15

  DF Report

People gather at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi on the Christmas Eve on Thursday. DF Photo.

People are celebrating Christmas festival in Finland amidst the ongoing exceptional situation of coronavirus outbreak.

The official celebration has begun on Thursday through the Proclamation of Peace in Turku was read by Turku Municipality Protocol Chief Mika Akkanen.

The event was held at 12:00 o’clock without any audience due to the restrictions following the coronavirus situation where the participants maintained safe distance.

Akkanen, read the declaration for the eighth time from the balcony of the Brinkkala House overlooking an empty market square, as public gathering was restricted at the venue.

According to the Turku Municipality, the tradition dates back to the 13th century and has continued since almost uninterrupted.

The declaration has been broadcast on the radio since 1935 and telecast by TV since 1983. People can also read the declaration online.

The Navy band also performed at the event together with the male choirs, Naskalit and Mieskuoro Laulun ystävät.

Under normal circumstances, traditionally thousands gather to listen to the declaration.

Like the other parts of the globe, overshadowed by COVID-19, Finland saw a Christmas festival like never before.

People, however, are celebrating the festival this year maintaining the safety measures amidst the pandemic.

Earlier, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) urged people to take the necessary precautions and to consider the differing coronavirus situations in different areas when planning trips during Christmas holidays.

All government, semi-government and private offices and most of the business centres remain closed from Thursday on the occasion.

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.