Eastertime is when the daffodils blossom in Helsinki. On Palm Sunday children dressed up as Easter witches go from door to door handing out pussy willow branches and wishing you good luck and health. In return they expect candies and chocolate eggs.
According to traditional folk beliefs from the Ostrobothnia region of Northwest Finland, the witches that roamed the dark nights could be kept away by open fires and the pungent smell of smoke. On Easter Saturday bonfires are lit on the recreational island of Seurasaari to ward off the evil spirits, and dozens of children dressed up as witches and carrying coffee pots and brooms gather on the island.
The traditional Via Crucis – Stages of the Cross procession takes place in the centre of Helsinki. Based on medieval church traditions, the procession winds its way along the streets from Kaisaniemi Park past the House of the Estates and onwards to the steps of Helsinki Cathedral for the climax.
While waiting for nature to wake from its slumber, you can visit the Winter Garden to admire the brilliant colours of the Easter lilies and tulips. Easter markets are another sure sign of the coming spring in Helsinki. Stalls appear all around town selling daffodils, tulips, saplings, design items, organic eggs, chocolates and jewellery.
Detailed event information will be released closer to the day on this website.