The iconic stone men guarding the entrance of Helsinki Central Railway Station are known for their involvement in current events. Now, they are donning green boleros reminiscent of Käärijä's Eurovision performance costume to cheer Finland towards a victory.
"We have been supporting Finland's sports teams in major competitions with the stone men in recent years, but the stone men are also lovers of culture.
Käärijä has already become one of the international favorites with his show at the Eurovision, and definitely deserves the stone men's encouragement in the heart of Helsinki," said long-distance traffic director Piia Tyynilä.
The stone men's Eurovision outfits are modeled after Käärijä's performance costume, which was designed by Teemu Muurimäki. However, the stone men's costumes have taken artistic liberties due to scale considerations. More than 50 meters of green fabric were used in total for the four boleros.
The stone men will be encouraging Käärijä throughout the Eurovision week. The first semifinal, in which Käärijä will also compete, will be held on Tuesday, May 9, and the final broadcast will take place on Saturday, May 13.
The stone men carefully consider their statements
The nearly 110-year-old Lyhdynkantajat sculptures, created by sculptor Emil Wikström, have become known for their appearances in VR's advertisements. Most recently, the stone men encouraged the use of face masks by Finns during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and set an example by wearing vaccination bandages in the spring of 2022.
"We are very cautious with the kind of stunts we do with the stone men. The stone men meet over 200,000 visitors to the main railway station daily, as well as numerous passersby. Because of their high visibility, stunts must always be timely and something that a wide audience can relate to and enjoy," Tyynilä explained.
The stone men's green costumes also serve as a reminder of responsible choices.
"Who knows, perhaps this time the stone men will be celebrating Finland's Eurovision victory on Saturday with the people of Helsinki. By wearing green in solidarity with Käärijä, they also remind us that nature is grateful when we choose to leave our cars behind," she added.