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Finland observes All Saints’ Day on Saturday

Most Christians in Finland observe All Saints’ Day on November 4 this year. As the holiday falls on a Saturday, there are few significant schedule changes.

Hautakynttilä hautausmaalla.
Many mark the day by lighting candles at the graves of loved ones. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

While the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day is generally observed on November 1, the dominant Lutheran churches in Finland and Sweden have celebrated it on the nearest Saturday since the mid-1950s.

Variously referred to as known as the Feast of All Saints, All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas, the day honours saints, martyrs and those who have died, especially during the previous year. Finns traditionally mark the day by lighting candles at the graves of loved ones.

Some 72 percent of Finland’s residents are registered as Lutheran, with just over one percent listed as Greek Orthodox and a similar number registered with other religious groups.

Sunday travel schedules, Alko closed

As the holiday falls on a Saturday, there are few significant schedule changes.

However most public transport runs on Sunday timetables, with some extra busses running to cemeteries.

Some health centres, postal outlets and other offices that might otherwise be open on Saturdays are closed.

Most grocery shops and other retail stores are open according to their usual Saturday schedules.

State-owned Alko shops are open as usual on Friday, but closed over the weekend. Most alcohol outlets close at 8 pm Friday, with a few shutting their doors at 6 pm.

Mild weather in south

The weekend weather forecast calls for mild conditions on Saturday, with temperatures rising as high as +9 degrees Celsius in parts of the south, but remaining just below freezing in the north-west.

Skies should be mostly cloudy in southern and central Finland with a chance of light local drizzle. Mostly clear and bright in northern Finland.

Winds will be light to moderate, with a warning of strong winds in the northern Bay of Bothnia.

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