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Kaksi tonttulakkipäistä takaapäin katsovat kadun yläpuolella olevaa joulutähteä. Image Jiri Halttunen

The Christmas opening in Jyväskylä will take place in Jyväskylä's pedestrian center, Kirkkopuisto, and Toivola Old Courtyard on Saturday, November 18th. This year, the program in the city center starts as early as 10 a.m., and there are festive activities planned throughout the day. At Kompassi, children can enjoy a free carousel, and by participating in the elf adventure, they have a chance to win prizes.

- The most anticipated part of the Christmas opening is, of course, Santa Claus. And Santa has announced that he will greet the residents of Jyväskylä again this year. At the same time, Santa reminds everyone that the elves are already vigilant and taking note of the kind deeds of both children and adults towards each other, says Emmi Palokangas, the communications director of the City of Jyväskylä.

The carousel, lighting of the Christmas star, Christmas tree lights, and reindeer at Kirkkopuisto...

This year, the event starts at 10 a.m. when the free carousel starts spinning at Kompassi. The carousel, intended for the younger members of the family, will be available throughout the day. Simultaneously, a elf adventure for children will also begin. The map for the elf adventure can be obtained from Kompassi, near the carousel. The adventure runs throughout the day, and children who complete it before 5 p.m. will be rewarded.

The traditional Christmas opening program begins at 5 p.m. with Viola Tarvainen's Christmas carols at Kompassi. From 5:15 p.m., there will be a greeting from the mayor, more musical performances, and the appearance of Santa Claus. Santa will be accompanied by little elves who will have their own performance on the platform of Kompassi. During this shared moment, the traditional Christmas star at Kompassi will also be lit.

At 6 p.m., the traditional evening ringing will echo from Harju, and during this time, the gathering will move from Kompassi to Kirkkopuisto together. In Kirkkopuisto, there will be a performance by the Harju laulu choir. Collective songs such as "Joulupuu on rakennettu" will be sung, and if the song resonates loud enough, the lights of the Christmas tree in Kirkkopuisto will be lit. In Kirkkopuisto, the popular reindeer, sleigh, and Christmas light balls of Valon Kaupunki will also shine.

Around 6:30 p.m., Santa Claus will climb into a horse-drawn carriage in Kirkkopuisto and ride to Toivola Old Courtyard, where the reception for Santa Claus will begin at 6:45 p.m. In Toivola, more music from the Harju laulu choir will be heard, and the traditional Snowman animation will be shown at 7:45 p.m. Additionally, at 7:45 p.m., there will be a concert by opera singer Johanna Rusanen-Kartano, pianist Outi Jussila, and cellist Kalle Kaanka.

Highlights of Christmas events in downtown Jyväskylä or its vicinity:

  • The Christmas window competition for brick-and-mortar stores starts on the Christmas opening day, November 18. You can vote for your favorite until December 10, either at participating stores or online. Among those who vote in stores, 20€ gift cards for the participating stores will be raffled.
  • Kankaan joulu will take place in Kankaan aukio on December 8, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The Mimmit band's Puhuri Christmas concert, organized by Lasten Lysti, will be heard at Veturitallit on December 9 at 3 p.m. Tickets cost 12 €.
  • The Craftspeople's Christmas Market will be at the Finnish Craft Museum on December 9-10, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Christmas Art Bazaar at the Jyväskylä Art Museum on December 9-10.
  • Children's programs are scheduled for the "Lasten lauantait" event series at Sokkari on November 25, Jyväkeskus on December 2, Tawasti on December 9, and Forum on December 16.