The fifth Baltic Sea Day was held in rainy weather on the last Thursday of August. Although the largest audiences were reached online and over the radio, hundreds of people were out and about at events and other activities on beaches and in city centres
Baltic Sea Day began with a morning opening ceremony at Helsinki City Hall. The open event, which was streamed on Helsinki-kanava, featured greetings from all around the Baltic Sea. There were also discussions about the sea’s condition, items in the government programme, and Finns’ concerns and relationship with the Baltic Sea.
In Helsinki these discussions about the Baltic Sea continued on the Espa Stage and Helsingin Sanomat’s website. On Pakkahuone Quay, hundreds of people visited the research vessel Aranda and met with organisations that are researching or operating by the Baltic Sea.
The day’s programme included more than 120 open events in Finland: encounters in market squares and marquees, concerts, exhibitions (including guided tours), workshops, lectures, films, theatre performances and outdoor pursuits. Many people got to enjoy Baltic Sea delicacies, and took part in beach clean-ups and numerous other Baltic Sea-friendly activities and events.
In addition to the events held in 24 cities on the Finnish mainland, Baltic Sea Day was also celebrated in the Åland Islands, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Denmark. More than 65 organisations in Sweden were involved in arranging a variety of maritime events and campaigns, such as Race For The Baltic’s seminar on the blue economy. Baltic Sea Day was also featured on the Swedish Royal Court’s social media channels: Crown Princess Victoria visited the BalticReed project’s event during the day and the Östersjöfestivalen concert in the evening. Beaches were cleaned up in Estonia, and Baltic Sea Day launched a two-week Save Our Sea campaign.
The Plunge – an event that highlights the recreational opportunities offered by the Baltic Sea – was held at six o’clock in the evening. Participants could “take the plunge” in any body of water in whatever way they wished. The John Nurminen Foundation’s plungers were seen on the Espa Stage and in Lauttasaari.
Food and culture
Dozens of staff canteens, schools and service institutions all across Finland created a Baltic Sea menu that included locally sourced fish and seasonal produce. Several cafés and restaurants served Baltic Sea-friendly food to their customers.
Baltic Sea Day is a reminder of the unique culture and history of our sea – a sea that offers us all kinds of experiences and adventures. In addition to the guided tours and discussions held at the John Nurminen Foundation’s Unknown Baltic Sea exhibition, the cultural programme included presentations of the Foundation’s collections and other events organised by Helsinki Art Museum, the Finnish Maritime Museum, Forum Marinum, and dozens of other museums, libraries, theatres, and musicians
Baltic Sea Day partners also organised a diverse programme for children and young people of all ages. Children could enjoy puppetry, films, music, dance performances and nature trails with info checkpoints.
Baltic Sea Day visible in the media
Alongside the events and activities, Baltic Sea Day was also highly visible in the media. Baltic Sea Day was covered by, for example, YLE, MTV, Helsingin Sanomat, Turun Sanomat and local newspapers.
Posts about it were shared on social media with the tags #itämeripäivä, #östersjödagen and #balticseaday. Social media posts and stories were shared by individual attendees, companies promoting their campaigns and offers, and daycare centres out on excursions. Influencers helped Baltic Sea Day to reach hundreds of thousands of people through a variety of social media channels, and Instagram in particular. The @BalticSeaDay account increased its reach by a thousandfold.
Partners donated visibility for Baltic Sea Day in the pages of Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and in shopping centres all across Finland. In late August, Baltic Sea Day was visible on Sponda’s shopping centre media displays, including Citycenter and Forum in Helsinki, Ratina in Tampere, Elo in Ylöjärvi and Zeppelin in Kempele.
Baltic Sea Day will be celebrated again next year on the last Thursday in August (29 August 2024). It would not be possible to celebrate Baltic Sea Day without its extensive and active team of partners. Thanks is therefore due to everyone who helped to make the day a success in one way or another.
John Nurminen Foundation
tel. +358 (0)40 834 0465
elina.lehtinen (at) jnfoundation.fi
John Nurminen Foundation
tel. +358 (0)50 463 9305
maija.soljanlahti (at) jnfoundation.fi