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Home NATIONALPresident to invite 17,00 guests for Independence Day reception party
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Wed, 30 Oct, 2013 12:00:19 AM
FTimes-STT Report, October 30
Tampere Hall where the President's Independence Day Reception will be held this year.Photo – Lehtikuva.
President Sauli Niinistö and first lady Jenni Haukio will invite about 1,700 senior citizens and designated people in the president’s reception party in observance of the Independence Day on December 6, keeping with tradition.
President office sources said that the number of the gusts would be lower this year compared to the previous times, but the number of retired persons and voluntary women workers will be higher than the past.
The number of invitees was 1,800 last year and 1,900 in 2011.
Earlier, the authority in early April decided that this year’s Independence Day reception will be in the Tampere Hall instead of the capital, due to ongoing renovation works of the presidential palace.
Sources said that the list in this regard has been prepared together with the provincial administrations.
PresidentSauli Niinistö and first lady Jenni Haukio are seen dancing in a reception party in Helsinki on December 6, 2012. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Earlier on September 27, the office of the president prepared the invitation letter for the programme, where the dress code specified that women would be allowed to wear either short or long skirts, although long skirts were previously mandatory for the ladies.
Regarding the changes in the dress code, the president’s office observed that it is not important whether the dress is short or long; what is important is that the dress should be festive.
Men are recommended to wear dark suits, while festive pant suits will be also allowed.
There will be no dancing in the reception party and the main attraction of the reception will be a concert by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Santtu-Matias Rouvali.
Taking the reception out of the capital is not unprecedented. It was held outside Helsinki twice before, said the president office sources.
The programme was first shifted to Tampere in 1972 and then to the Finlandia Hall in 1981, when the presidential palace was under construction.
In 1982, physical ailments compelled the erstwhile president, Urho Kekkonen, to delegate the task of hosting the presidential Independence Day celebrations to the then deputy prime minister.
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