Kekri was an ancient Finnish pagan festival marking both the end of the harvesting season and the end of the calendar year. Kekri usually took place at the beginning of November. People celebrated life and harvest by generous feasting and honoured those who passed away through different rituals.
On October 31st, 2015, a long-lost Finnish tradition of the pagan festival of Kekri was revived on the shores of Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. It received a name of Viaporin Kekri and after its initial success turned into an annual event with 2019 marking the fifth time of it happening. The festival changes and evolves each year bravely trying out new ideas, but staying loyal to its own established traditions.
Created with respect and consideration for Suomenlinna’s past, Viaporin Kekri is an opportunity to explore Finnish history, a modern interpretation of an old tradition, and an experiment in creating new meanings out of centuries-old believes and customs. It gives its visitors a unique chance to explore and experience Suomenlinna islands from a new perspective and see its darkest corners that are usually closed for the general public.
Viaporin Kekri is a result of collaboration between Haaga-Helia’s students of Bachelor Degree Programme in Hospitality, Tourism and Experience Management, the Governing Body of Suomenlinna, the island’s service providers, and businesses from mainland Helsinki.
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