On December 6, 2023, students from the capital region will come together to celebrate Finland's 106th Independence Day in the traditional Student Independence Day Torchlight Procession.
The procession, organized jointly by student unions from the capital region, will commenced at the Hietaniemi Cemetery and culminated at Senate Square for a public celebration.
"The Student Torchlight Procession brings us, the students of the capital region, together year after year. In addition to celebrating our independence, we remember the students who have paved the way for us," said Nea Hakala, Chair of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki.
The solemnity of the torchlight procession will begin at 4:00 PM at the Sankariristi monument in Hietaniemi Cemetery, where wreaths will be laid. The procession itself will set off from the Hietaniemi Cemetery Chapel at approximately 5:00 PM, following a route that included Hietaniemenkatu – Arkadiankatu – Pohjoisesplanadi – Presidential Palace – Mariankatu – Aleksanterinkatu – Senate Square. Traffic will be temporarily redirected to accommodate the procession. At the Presidential Palace, the procession will be greeted by the President of the Republic in a traditional manner.
A civic celebration will take place at Senate Square from approximately 5:55 PM to 6:15 PM. The program will include choir singing, a speech by the Mayor of Helsinki, Juhana Vartiainen, and speeches by student unions.
"In the Torchlight Procession, we students continue a long and festive tradition," remarked Mikaela Lindberg, a member of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki's board.
This year's event will be organized by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), Aalto University Student Union (AYY), Svenska Handelshögskolans Studentkår (SHS), the Student Union of the University of the Arts Helsinki (TaiYO), as well as Arcada Student Union ASK, Helga - Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences' Student Union, Laureamko - Laurea University of Applied Sciences' Student Union, and METKA - Metropolia University of Applied Sciences' Student Union, in collaboration with the Kadettitoverikunta organization.