Finland: Communities at the forefront of the 2016 European Heritage Days

A day care centre's cultural environment picnic, a role-playing group's meeting at a castle or a nature club's scavenger hunt ─ next year's European Heritage Days will be held in Finland with the theme ‘Community places, shared environments’. With 50 participating countries, the European Heritage Days programme's common theme for 2016 is Heritage and Communities, emphasising the important role that communities play in managing their own cultural heritage and environments.

The theme is based on the Faro Convention, which emphasises the important role that communities play in managing their own cultural heritage and environments. "This theme was selected with the aim of highlighting clubs, associations, groups of friends, families and other communities who manage and protect their own cultural environments in numerous ways", says Jonina Vaahtolammi from the Finnish Local Heritage Federation.

Organising an event as part of the European Heritage Days is a great way to raise awareness of the importance of your own environment and cultural environment actions, and to inspire others to take care of our shared cultural environment. In previous years, associations, museums, schools and many other communities have organised a wealth of different activities during the event, such as open doors days, exhibitions, voluntary work and guided tours.

Everyone is welcome to organise an event during the European Heritage Days. "Every group and environment is important. It would be great to see, for example, a football game on a local field, a hay day organised by a local village committee, a club house dance event or a children's street chalk drawing session as part of the Heritage Days programme", muses Hanna Hämäläinen from the Ministry of the Environment.

Events across Europe

European Heritage Days is an annual Europe-wide event that promotes awareness of and appreciation for cultural heritage. In Finland, the annual events are centred around the second weekend of September, during which time operators organise open doors days, guided tours and other events. In addition to appearing on Finland's own event calendar, these events gain Europe-wide visibility on the international website.

Twitter: @HeritageDaysFI and #kulttuuriympäristöpäivät

The European Heritage Days weekend in Finland: 9–11 September 2016
The European Heritage Days in Europe: September 2016
Theme of the European Heritage Days in Finland: Community places, shared environments
Theme of the European Heritage Days in Europe: Heritage and Communities
Coordination in Finland: The National Board of Antiquities, the Finnish Local Heritage Federation, the Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland and the Ministry of the Environment.

Further information

Coordinator Jonina Vaahtolammi, jonina.vaahtolammi@, tel. +358 (0)9 612 6320 
Planning Officer Hanna Hämäläinen, Ministry of the Environment, hanna.hamalainen @, tel. +358 (0)295 250 095
International affairs: Organisation Manager Liisa Lohtander,, tel. +358 (0)45 1509 109