This year the New Year is celebrated remotely. Here’s how the City of Helsinki has planned to bring the festivities to you.

The tower of the Olympic Stadium is one of the centerpieces of 2021 New Year’s celebration. Photograph: Stadion-säätiö/Wellu Hämäläinen

While the official New Year’s countdown and fireworks have been canceled in Helsinki due to gathering restrictions, the city is still offering a selection of enjoyable festivities in community spirit.

Undoubtedly one of the most intriguing ones is a Morse code show, designed by Ilkka Paloniemi and titled Telegraph of Time, where laser beams are transmitted to the sky from the tower of the Olympic Stadium.

As the last rays of the sun in 2020 go down beyond the horizon around 15:30 in the afternoon, laser beams will light up the Helsinki sky, transmitting “2020–2021” in Morse code in all directions from the tower. The message display will be seen in the sky and will be audible on analog radio frequency 105.8 MHz.

“The Olympic Stadium tower will,” according to a statement by the City of Helsinki, “turn into a kind of modern telegraph for the New Year’s night to send messages about the change of the year. It will be a message about the passage of time across the Helsinki sky and it will demonstrate the transition from the last night of the year to the first day of the new one.”

The audience will be able to interact with the show by sending their messages and wishes on the radio show through Helsinki’s website here.

“The work can be viewed all evening, night and morning while it is dark and you can choose a time and place that suits you for about 18 hours in total,” the city notes. “It will be visible throughout the Helsinki area, especially from unobstructed places with a direct view of the Olympic Stadium tower. The work is not best viewed by the Stadium tower itself, instead, it’s best to find your own viewing spot further away.”

The New Year will be rang in with a concert where a selection of leading Finnish artists (for example Chisu, Nelli Matula, Robin Packalen) perform an arrangement of dance music classics in unison with a symphony orchestra. “In a way you’ve never seen before,” the city notes.

The setlist features songs, for example, by Daft Punk, Depeche Mode and the Prodigy without forgetting Finnish hits from the ’90s, songs like “Sandstorm” by Darude.

The show will be broadcast from the Ballroom of the Helsinki City Hall on Yle TV1 and Yle Areena beginning at 22:30.