Tuomas Heikkilä & Liisa Suvikumpu: Suomen Turku julistaa joulurauhan. Åbo kungör julfred [Finland’s Turku announces the Christmas peace]

9 December 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Suomen Turku julistaa joulurauhan. Åbo kungör julfred
[Finland’s Turku announces the Christmas peace]
Swedish translation: Malena Torvalds-Westerlund
Helsinki: Kirjapaja, 2011. 71 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-247-229-8
€ 24, hardback

This bilingual book offers a broad interpretation of a unique Christmas tradition upheld by the Finns: at 12 on Christmas Eve a large proportion of the population falls silent to listen to the declaration of the Christmas peace from Turku cathedral. After its bells have rung noon, the deputy mayor ceremonially opens a manuscript prepared according to mediaeval tradition and reads the announcement in both Finnish and Swedish. After the announcement, the land settles down to celebrate Christmas following traditions dating from the 13th century. The Christmas peace has been announced in Turku almost without interruption since the Middle Ages. The last time it went unread was in 1939, during the Winter War. The Finnish Broadcasting Company broadcasts the occasion to all the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union EBU. The Christmas peace is also sent out into the world by Swedish radio, reaching a total of some 140 countries.
Translated by Hildi Hawkins

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