View Full Version : The Christmas Peace Declaration in Åbo

22-12-03, 20:11
On Christmas Eve at 12:00 hours this declaration below is read from the balcony of the old Brinkala house in the neighbourhood of Åbo Domkyrka, a very old tradition which now is distributed via EBU (European Broadcasting Union) via satellite to all member states.

The declaration in Swedish is as follows:

"I morgon, vill Gud,
infaller vår Herres och Frälsares nåderika födelsefest;
och varder förty härigenom en allmän julfred kungjord och påbjuden,
med åtvarning till envar att denna högtid med tillbörlig andakt fira,
och i övrigt iakttaga ett stilla och fridsamt uppförande,
emedan den, som häremot bryter
samt julhögtiden genom något olagligt eller otillbörligt förfarande oskärar,
gör sig under försvårande omständigheter förfallen till det straff,
lag och författningar för varje brott och överträdelse särskilt påbjuda.
Slutligen tillönskas stadens samtliga invånare en fröjdefull julhelg."

23-12-03, 01:02
Hi Hasse,

Down in the boondocks, I wasn't aware this took place each year. Unfortunately I am still in the dark as to what the peace declaration actually says. It would take me until after Easter to work it out So... Can you please help me out here.

Jeanette :confused:

June Pelo
23-12-03, 20:44
In Finland, the customs associated with Christmas are the lightning of candles on family graves, the decoration of the Christmas tree, in which the entire family participates and, the Christmas meal and the giving of presents. The most important element of the meal is the eating of ham, which originated in pagan times. Other dishes include swede and carrot casseroles and Baltic herring salad garnished with whipped cream. Presents are brought by Santa Claus in his sack or placed under the tree, and distributed on Christmas Eve.

Here is a picture of candles lighting the graves at Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki on Christmas Eve.


June Pelo
23-12-03, 20:55
Here is a good website about the subject.Christmas Peace Declaration (http://www.christmascity.com/dynamic/eng/index.php?page=joulukaupunki)

Here is an excerpt about it:
Turku - Finland’s Christmas City. In Turku, Christmas is celebrated from the first Sunday of Advent to the middle of January. During this time, Christmas events are arranged all over the city. In many Finnish families, the real Christmas begins on Christmas Eve at exactly 12 o’clock. This is when the inhabitants of Turku gather in front of Brinkkala House - and hundreds of thousands of Finns at their radio and television sets - to listen how Turku declares Christmas Peace to the whole of Finland. Turku is the only town in the Nordic Countries, where the tradition of Christmas Peace declaration has survived almost uninterrupted from the Middle Ages to the present day.


23-12-03, 21:18
Originally posted by jeanette
...Unfortunately I am still in the dark as to what the peace declaration actually says. It would take me until after Easter to work it out So... Can you please help me out here.

Tomorrow, God willing,
is the graceful celebration
of the birth of our Lord and Saviour;
and thus is declared
a peaceful Christmas time to all,
by advising devotion
and to behave otherwise quietly and peacefully,
because he who breaks this peace
and violates the peace of Christmas
by any illegal or improper behaviour
shall under aggravating circumstances
be guilty and punished according to
what the law and statutes prescribe
for each and every offence separately.
Finally, a joyous Christmas feast
is wished to all inhabitants of the city.

24-12-03, 02:56
Hasse and June,

Thank you both for your listings.

What a truly wonderful tradition keeping the sense of community alive. People who live alone and have no family can share this feeling by going to hear the reading, if they can, even those forced to watch the broadcast must gain a sense of community spirit.

The site June posted is fantastic too, further explaining Christmas and Christmas traditions in Turku.

May the Spririt of Christmas be with you all.