New Year 2009 in Helsinki

Went to Helsinki, Finland on January 4, 2009

I decided to celebrate New Year in Helsinki. Previously, I was celebrating it in New York, so it was interesting how these two will compare. My initial expectation that Helsinki would not deliver was wrong тАУ there are a number of ways in which New Year in Helsinki is better than that in New York.

I arrived to Helsinki at 8PM. Near the train station there was ice skating stadium. I spent a couple of hours there. Skating in the city is so nice!

Then I grabbed a snack and went to celebrate the New Year at Senate Square. There was a big stage with live concert going on. Because there were not too many people at 11PM I was able to get quite close. Screens were available as well.

The live concert included performances of the best Finnish singer Jore Marjaranta. Can you imagine a top-notch singer in New YorkтАЩs Times Square? I think it is impossible.

Right before the New Year there were speeches of Major of Helsinki and Bishop. After that, Finnish anthem was performed. The fireworks started immediately the New Year has begun. It was quite short but powerful, eye-blinding. There were fireworks going on over the Baltic Sea before the New Year and after it, but those were single shots with long pauses in between.

Then I walked in the city for a couple of hours. I went to the bus station to find out that there was a bus to Tampere at 3AM. Initially I was planning on catching the earliest train at 6:30AM. So it was the first New Year gift that I received. I was quite happy with my celebration. I did not freeze while waiting for the New Year even though it was -10C. I went to Ice Park upon arriving to Helsinki. Then I was running around the city mostly and spent only 1 hour staying at Senate Square.

It looks like nature has celebrated New Year as well. On Jaunary 1st the temperature has finally decreased after a 3-months stay at 0 centigrade. Nowdays, the temperature is around -10C which is quite normal even though I thought it is colder in Finland. I talked to people and they were quite happy with this weather because they were saying last year it was raining in January.

So the year started quite nicely. I have lots of plans and expectations from this year. For example, I am going to become ACM Life Member.

In addition to video below, I have taken pictures.