Commemoration of the end of the Winter War at Helsinki Cathedral and coffee at Senate Square cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak

Government Communications Department 12.3.2020 14.35 | Published in English on 12.3.2020 at 14.48
Press release 130/2020

On Friday 13 March 2020, exactly 80 years will have passed since the end of the Winter War. The planned national memorial service marking the anniversary of the end of the war at the Helsinki Cathedral has been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak. The memorial coffee for the public at Senate Square is also cancelled.

The Government issued a recommendation today to cancel all major seminars and events organised by the state until the end of May.

To mark the end of the Winter War, bells will ring out in all of Finland’s Lutheran, Orthodox and Catholic churches at 10.55–11.00 on the commemoration day. The ringing of the bells will commemorate the exact moment when the war ended. The peace treaty between Finland and the Soviet Union entered into force on 13 March 1940 at 11.00.

While the bells ring, 105 candles will be lit on the steps of Helsinki Cathedral – one for each day of the Winter War, which began on 30 November 1939. Across Finland, candles will be lit at war graves and Winter War memorials.

In honour of the 80th anniversary of the end of the Winter War, the Ministry of the Interior recommends that the national flag be flown throughout the country.  Flags are to be raised at 8.00 and lowered at sunset. All government agencies and public bodies will fly the flag to mark the national commemoration.

Inquiries: Tiina-Kaisa Laakso-Liukkonen, Production Manager, tel. +358 29 516 0220, tiina-kaisa.laakso-liukkonen(at); Päivi Paasikoski, Deputy Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 547 6279, paivi.paasikoski(at); Prime Minister’s Office