Helsinki celebrates New Year’s Eve at home

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the New Year will not be celebrated in Helsinki city centre but instead will be seen in remotely, at home. Instead of the traditional public event, the Helsinki Channel and Yle will broadcast a programme to bring a festive atmosphere to people of all ages. Laser beams will also light up the Helsinki sky.

The New Year will be celebrated safely at home on 31 December with the Helsinki New Year at home programme and some of the country’s leading artists. Yle’s Ringing in 2021 programme turns City Hall’s Ballroom into the stage for the New Year’s show as the most iconic pieces of electronic music of recent decades meet the power of a symphony orchestra in the sparkling Classical Trancelations concert.

The stars of the night are Chisu, Nelli Matula, Redrama, Olavi Uusivirta, MARiANNA, Paleface, Pete Parkkonen, Robin Packalen, Jesse Markin, Tapani Rinne and Darude. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Eero Lehtimäki, and the Ahjo Ensemble chamber choir also thes stage. The concert features new orchestral arrangements of familiar dance hits by acts such as Daft Punk and Darude. The concert programme has been curated by Tapio “DJ Orchid” Hakanen, and the songs have been arranged by experienced names in game and film music, Petri Alanko and Pessi Levanto.

A house party for the whole family on the Helsinki Channel

New Year’s Eve kicks off with a programme suitable for the youngest family members on the Helsinki channel. Sleepyhead’s New Year’s Eve Countdown is a fun celebration for the whole family, during which everyone is encouraged to try their hand at art and to dance and play bingo with the programme’s hosts. Prepare for the evening by following the instructions that will be shared online. The event is suitable for people of all ages and is organised by the Skidit arts collective, known for the Skidit festival and other imaginative events for children.

 Radio laser work to transmit New Year messages up into the Helsinki sky

As the last rays of sun in 2020 go down beyond the horizon, laser beams will light up the Helsinki sky, transmitting “2020–2021” in Morse code in all directions from the Olympic Stadium tower. The radio laser work The telegraph of the time will be visible for about 18 hours, from sunset until the sun rises again in the morning. The audience can also contribute to the work by sending in their wishes for the new year through the work’s radio frequency. The work will be visible throughout the Helsinki area, especially from high and unobstructed places with a view of the Olympic Stadium tower. The official Helsinki fireworks will not take place this year.

”As the year 2020 is coming to an end, we have an exceptional need to let go of the past and warmly welcome a better year ahead. In our current situation we cannot crowd in markets and parks, which made the City of Helsinki look for another solution. I encourage everyone to stay home, take care of themselves and each other and to enjoy the marvellous programme on the way towards a better new year”, Mayor Jan Vapaavuori says.

Classical Trancelations – Helsinki’s New Year’s concert and Ringing in 2020 broadcast on YLE TV1 and YLE Areena 31/12/2020 from 22:30–01:00

Sleepyhead’s New Year’s Eve Countdown on the Helsinki-kanava Channel on 31/12/2020 from 17:30–18:00.

The laser work The telegraph of the time will be visible from sunset to sunrise 31/12/2020–1/1/2021.

Photo: Karo Holmberg

(Edited 18.12.)