Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights 2012
The festive season begins as the Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights are switched on
One of Helsinki’s oldest Christmas traditions, the Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights were first lit in 1949 when the street’s shopkeepers sought to delight the city’s inhabitants, still recovering from World War II.
The first ever Christmas lights arrived in the city in 1930 when Kluuvikatu was decorated in the style of Drottningsgatan in central Stockholm. However, when Aleksanterinkatu was adorned with three kilometers worth of pine garlands and 4,000 light bulbs, the shopkeepers on adjoining streets were inspired to organise six more stretches of Christmas splendour. This gradually grew into a whole area of Christmas lights covering the centre of Helsinki and the number of lights has doubled over the decades. Today, the lighting is organised by local property owners, businesses and the City of Helsinki’s Helsinki City Markkinointi ry. Helsingin Energia sponsors the switch-on ceremony every year and the event has now established itself in the Helsinki social calendar as a hugely popular event for the whole family.
In 2012, the Aleksi Christmas lights will be lit on Sunday 25 November at 15:00. This will be preceded by a programme of events on Senate Square from 14:00. The square will feature stalls run by local charitable organisations selling traditional joulupuuro or rice pudding, warm cordial and gingerbread. Santa Claus will arrive on a historic tram accompanied by the city’s Mayor, Jussi Pajunen and they will join forces to switch on the Christmas lights at 15:00.
For further information, please contact:
Helsinki City Markkinointi Oy