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New Year brings diversions, fireworks and festivities

Finland rings in the New Year on Sunday night, and that brings changes to services and opening hours.

Itsenäisyyspäivän juhlailotulitus.
Fireworks from Independence Day celebrations in 2017. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

New Year's Eve is a Sunday this year, which means that Alko stores are closed and there's no chance to make any last-minute bubbly purchases. The state-owned alcohol retailer will re-open on Tuesday, 2 January.

Private individuals are permitted to set off fireworks between the hours of 6pm and 2am, but fire safety officials advise the use of goggles.

Banks and post offices are closed as usual on Sunday and will remain so until Tuesday, 2 January. Postal service counters in other businesses will be open according to their opening hours.

Long-distance bus services run to a reduced timetable on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. There's more information on the Matkahuolto website.

Likewise long-distance train services are running a reduced timetable on New Year's Eve and a Sunday service on New Year's Day. More information on the VR website.

In Helsinki, diversions will be in place around midnight on New Year's Eve for celebrations taking place at Töölönlahti and Kansalaistori. The entertainment starts with a family-friendly event from 4pm until 5:30pm, with a concert featuring rock artist Anssi Kela and a contemporary circus troupe called Agit Cirk, among others.

Commuter trains to the airport and Metro services will run until 2:30am, with Sunday services in operation otherwise until Tuesday. A full list of extra bus and tram services laid on for the New Year festivities is available on the HSL website.

On New Year's Day, a long-awaited and controversial re-organisation of bus routes in the western suburbs will be implemented to align services with the Helsinki Metro extension. More details on that can be found on the HSL website.

Local transport authority websites have details of transport services in Tampere, Turku, Jyväskylä, and Oulu.

Edited to correct the timing of permitted firework usage.

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