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Businesses Close as Country Observes Independence Day

Wednesday is Independence Day in Finland, which means that there are changes to opening hours and transport schedules.

On Wednesday, shops and businesses are closed, as are government offices, including post offices. Long-distance busses and public transport are running on Sunday schedules. Long-distance trains will run normally, with the exception of a few cancellations. Ceremonies Began at 9:00 Independence Day ceremonies began at 9:00 a.m. with the traditional hoisting of the flag atop Helsinki’s Observatory Hill. This tradition was started by the Association of Finnish Culture and Identity in 1957. Other official events during the day include a national church service at the Lutheran Cathedral in the capital, and the laying of wreaths at a memorial to the war dead and at the tomb of Finnish wartime commander and later president, Marshal Gustav Mannerheim. Around noon, the charity organisation founded by social campaigners Veikko and Lahja Hursti holds its own "Poor Man’s Ball" in Helsinki's Hakaniemi Square. The groups provides free food, distributes clothing, and holds a religious service in the square. University students hold torch-light processions in various parts of the country, and this year's national defence forces independence day parade will be held in Jyväskylä. Independence Day always ends on a high note with a formal ball hosted by the President. YLE24 State Railway VR Helsinki City Transport

Sources: Finnish Bus Services (Matkahuolto)

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