President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse, Mrs. Jenni Haukio, dancing the waltz at the Presidential Palace on December 6, 2016. Photograph: The Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

The traditional Finland’s Independence Day reception has been canceled.

Instead of the traditional presidential reception attended by invited guests at the Presidential Palace on December 6, President Sauli Niinistö and Mrs. Jenni Haukio will invite all Finns to celebrate Independence Day remotely.

“The reception has traditionally gathered around two thousand Finns to the Presidential Palace. But Independence Day is also celebrated at home, by millions in front of their televisions,” President Niinistö said in a statement. “Although this year we will not meet in the traditional way at the Presidential Palace, this will by no means diminish the significance of the celebration. We will celebrate Finland and our independence together with all Finns through a new kind of program,” he continued.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle will transmit a show that include presentations of Finnish performing art as well as compilations of scenes from Independence Day receptions held in previous decades.

In addition, according to the president’s office, the broadcast will visit different parts of Finland and follow how Finns celebrate Independence Day in different ways. Viewers will have the opportunity to send their own greetings to the evening’s broadcast.

The president’s office didn’t say directly why the traditional ball has been canceled, but most likely the reason is the coronavirus pandemic and the limitations regarding events.

More details of the program will be announced later.