Skip to content

Lahti will be celebrating the New Year with a spectacular light installation called Strange Winter!

This year, New Year’s revellers in Lahti will get to experience Strange Winter, a stunning light installation that combines light, sound and music. The light installation will centre around Lahti City Hall, Eliel Saarinen Park, City Hall Park and, in particular, the city hall’s tower.

In honour of Kirsi Kunnas’ upcoming centenary in 2024, visitors will be able to enjoy some of her delightful poems, which will form part of the installation from New Year’s Day to Epiphany. Timo Saarinen, a lighting designer from Lahti, headed up both the design and implementation of the installation. The event is being organised in collaboration between the City of Lahti, Lahti Winter Carnival for Children and Lahti Energia.

“A light show is, in many ways, a more environmentally friendly way to celebrate the New Year than a traditional fireworks display. That’s why we wanted to get involved in making it possible,” says Jouni Haikarainen, CEO of Lahti Energia.

Lighting designer Timo Saarinen says that the installation is a visual journey into the interface between the urban environment and the glory of nature.

“The lights in this piece create contrasts that remind us of the beauty of nature, its uniqueness all around us, and the possibility of everything being in harmony. Before it’s too late! The piece is driven by poems that give it a multifaceted and thought-provoking quality.”


You can see the light show between 6 pm and 2:15 am on New Year’s Eve (Sunday 31 December).  The show will run every 20 minutes on New Year’s Eve accompanied by a soundscape. Each performance will last about 7 minutes. A static version of the light installation can be seen at other times. Sipi-Pelle’s snack stand will also be open on New Year’s Eve from 6 pm.

You can enjoy the light show between 6 pm and 2:15 am on 1–6 January 2024, and between 6 pm and 8:15 pm on Sunday 7 January.  You can download the soundscape for these performances onto your mobile phone or other smart device using a QR code. The QR codes will be displayed in prominent positions in the city hall’s parks. You can also find the QR code on this website.


Lahti City Hall (Harjukatu 31), Eliel Saarinen Park and City Hall Park will provide the stage for the light installation. You can arrive and enjoy the show from any direction.

Music and poems

The installation’s soundscape was created by Joni Kallio, a sound and lighting designer who is currently the technical producer for the City of Lahti’s cultural services. The main themes of the soundscape are the Strange Winter theme – and improvisations on this theme – and poems by Kirsi Kunnas. Strange Winter was composed by young Lahti musician Väinö Karhos and is played on clarinet and tenor saxophone, and the poems will be recited by puppeteer Terhi Tuomikko.

Traffic control

Visitors are encouraged to come to the event on foot or by public transport. The section of Harjukatu near City Hall will be closed to traffic. Please note that you are not allowed to set off your own fireworks in the area! The entire downtown area is a no-fireworks zone!

Further information:

Joni Kallio, Technical Producer, City of Lahti,, tel. +358 (0)44 482 6058
Timo Saarinen, lighting designer,, tel +358 (0)45 231 0025