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National children’s Independence Day celebration held at Government Palace

Government Communications Department
Publication date 4.12.2023 17.31
Press release
Prime Minister Orpo welcomed each guest personally to the event

A total of 536 children from 266 municipalities took part in the children's Independence Day celebration at the Government Palace on 4 December. At the beginning of the celebration, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo shook hands with each guest and welcomed them personally to the event. The celebration was organised by the Prime Minister's Office, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare and the Office of the Ombudsman for Children.

Now organised for the fifth time, the national children’s Independence Day celebration has become an established part of the Finnish Independence Day festivities. Along with Prime Minister Orpo, Minister of Finance Riikka Purra, Minister of Science and Culture Sari Multala and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sari Essayah also took part in the celebration.

After the handshakes, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo delivered the opening address and welcomed the guests to celebrate the 106th anniversary of independent Finland. Secretary General Milla Kalliomaa from the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare and Ombudsman for Children Elina Pekkarinen also spoke at the event.

The theme of this year’s celebration at the Government Palace was friendship and friendship skills. The guests had been asked in advance for drawings, photographs or other pieces of art on the theme of friendship, and the works were collected into an exhibition in the banquet hall. The theme was also reflected in the programme for the event. For example, guests could send a postcard to a friend or relative or write in a friendship diary. There was also a quiet room for guests who needed a break from the action. A variety of sweet and savoury refreshments were served.

The celebration was hosted by Essi Unkuri and featured music by The Guards Band Quintet and a surprise performance by Käärijä.

Two children born in 2013 from each municipality in Finland were invited to the celebration. The children were selected and signed up for the event by the municipalities. Guests came from all across Finland, including the southernmost municipality of Hanko, the northernmost municipality of Utsjoki and the westernmost municipality of Eckerö.

Inquiries: Tiina-Kaisa Laakso-Liukkonen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 160 220, and Jaakko Ranta, Communications Specialist, tel. +358 50 472 1684, Prime Minister’s Office