When the tradition first began, as a way to mark the preparation of sophomore students about to enter their final year of studies, the dance was a more low-key affair. Students would take second-hand clothes from home and put on small performances to their local community.
Since the Helsinki Ice Hall began hosting the event in 1992, the annual dance has grown into a more extravagant affair. Students often spend hundreds of euros on hair, makeup, ballgowns, and tuxedos, leading to occasional complaints that it has become too commercial.
You can see more photos of today's Vanhojenpäivä dance in Helsinki by scrolling through the gallery.
Adam Oliver Smith -HT
Image Credit: Lehtikua