Finland celebrates its 106th Independence Day. Here is what has happened so far.

President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse, Jenni Haukio, arriving at the Helsinki Cathedral on December 6, 2023. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

FINLAND’S 106TH INDEPENDENCE DAY began with sunny and frosty weather in Helsinki on Wednesday.

The giant Finnish flag was hoisted on Tähtitorninmäki at nine o’clock.

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Just over an hour later, President Sauli Niinistö laid a wreath at the Cross of Heroes at the Hietaniemi cemetery.

An hour later, members of Parliament, the government and President Niinistö and his wife, Jenni Haukio, attended an ecumenical jubilee service at the Helsinki Cathedral, which this year was interrupted by a protest.

One of the first to arrive at Helsinki Cathedral. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

“The demonstrators staged a moment of silent demonstration inside the church and lowered banners from the church gallery. The situation inside the church was quickly over and the police removed the demonstrators from the scene,” the Helsinki Police Department reported on the X messaging service after the jubilee service ended.

According to media reports, the demonstrators, who numbered about ten, were protesting for peace in Palestine.

During the day, a national Independence Day parade was held in Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia.

For many, the day culminates in watching the live broadcast on national television of the official Independence Day reception at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.

For others, it will culminate in the streets of the capital with beer, booze and protests from the far left and far right.

Finland Today will continue following the events of the evening.

Meanwhile, you can continue viewing our gallery below.

President Sauli Niinistö laying a wreath at the Cross of Heroes at the Hietaniemi Cemetery on December 6, 2023. Photograph: Juhani Kandell/The Finnish president’s office
One of the first guests to arrive at the church lost his hat on the way. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY
Members of Parliament are called together before entering the jubilee service. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY
Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) leads the way to the cathedral. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY
Prime Minister Orpo waits for the others to come up the steep stairs. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY
Almost all the ministers present are now together. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY
This bus stops in the wrong place next to the cathedral. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY
President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse, Jenni Haukio, are the last guests of honor arriving for the service. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

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