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Festival week in upper secondary schools: Penkkari parade on Feb 14th and Vanhojen tanssit on Feb 15th

The annual Finnish celebration Penkkarit, or more formally Penkinpainajaiset (Benchpressing), takes place on Thursday, February 14th. On that day, Finnish upper secondary school students parade to celebrate their final day of school before the matriculation examinations. Traditionally, students wear funny costumes to Penkkarit and parade on the back of tippers throwing sweets to the streets. 

In Oulu, the Penkkari parade sets off from Raatti at 13:30 and travels towards the city centre via Merikosken sillat and Kajaaninkatu. In the city centre, the parade circles twice the route Kirkkokatu – Pakkahuoneenkatu – Isokatu – Heikinkatu – Kirkkokatu. Welcome to watch the young celebrate!

Penkkari parade route (pdf)

Record-breaking dancer turnout to Vanhojen tanssit 

The traditional Vanhojen tanssit (Seniors’ Ball) is held at Ouluhalli on Friday, February 15th, starting at 3 p.m. This year, the total of 1,012 students from 12 upper secondary schools in the Oulu area participate to the ball, which is the highest turnout of all time.

The ball is a joint dance show and the culmination of the ballroom dance course the 2nd year students have taken. This year, the dancers perform the Polonaise, Viennese waltz, Tango, Mignon, Shortcake, La Chaconne, Le Brisquet Cellois, and, as the grand finale, a choreography to Mamma Mia. 

The ball programme can be bought at the Ouluhalli entrance hall for the price of five euro. This year’s profit is donated to the youth work of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare and to the scholarship funds for upper secondary school students raised by the Oulu region of the Association of Physical and Health Educators.


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