Mayor’s Independence Day Reception

The City of Helsinki has held an Independence Day Reception for 4th graders in Finlandia Hall since 1987. The event is hosted by the Mayor of Helsinki and brings together the entire age group of 10-year-olds in the city. The receptions have traditionally been arranged in stages on the same day at several different events, which have been attended by around 6,000 children. 

The next receptions will be held on 3 December 2024 at Messukeskus due to the renovation of Finlandia Hall.

The Mayor’s Independence Day Reception is held by the City of Helsinki, with Helsinki Events Foundation responsible for the production side.


What about the dress code and preparations for the reception?

Dances will be practiced in schools throughout the autumn and schools will also review arrival at the reception and other general practicalities. Children can dress formally for the occasion according to their own style and taste. You can also borrow or buy a recycled outfit.

Where and when will I get more detailed instructions concerning my own child’s attendance at the reception?

Letters of invitation and detailed instructions will be sent to schools in August. The schools will provide guardians with more details about the event.

Can guardians and other outsiders follow the event?

Because of the large number of attendees, guardians cannot be invited to follow the event. This also applies to other outsiders. However, the reception can be viewed on the Helsinki channel (

Will photos be taken at the reception? Is there anywhere I can get photos of the occasion?

Some of the staggered events will be recorded for the Helsinki channel at Photos may also be taken at the Independence Day Reception and this will be agreed beforehand with certain classes. Photos may be published and shared in City of Helsinki social media channels.

How are groups with special needs taken into account at the Mayor’s Independence Day Reception?

Groups of children with special needs get to greet the Mayor before other groups. A separate entrance is
reserved for them and efforts are made to ensure that the greeting queue is as short as possible for these
groups. Efforts are made to leave plenty of space at the reception venue and places are reserved where
children with special needs can relax and arrange to meet with a teacher, other adult or a familiar pupil.
There are plenty of guides at the reception venue to assist with mobility and guide pupils where needed.