Admission with Museum Card

A Matter of Time

Helsinki Observatory, Helsinki

  • 17.1.2020–11.9.2021

The exhibition, co-produced by the University Almanac Office and the Observatory, tells about systems of chronology that have preoccupied humans from time immemorial and about the fascinating stages of Finnish almanac.


This temporary exhibition is located in the historical Helsinki Observatory building, which was completed in 1834 on Helsinkis Thtitorninvuori hill and where the University of Helsinki Almanac Office was established 25 years ago. Almanacs have traditionally been devised by astronomers. This exhibition also celebrates the calendar reform of 2020 which introduces new annual celebrations and names in the Finnish almanac.

From the dawn of history, people have measured the passage of time with the movements of the Sun, the phases of the Moon and the changing of the seasons. Before printed calendars became available, they did so with the help of, for example, wooden runic calendars. The first Finnish-language almanac appeared in 1705. The University of Helsinki is responsible for maintaining the Finnish calendar.

Approximately 11 million calendars are printed in Finland every year, two calendars per person. These range from colourful picture calendars to various pocket, desk and wallet calendars. Most of them indicate not just the dates but also name days. In addition, the Almanac Office can provide calendar makers with a variety of astronomical and other data, such as information on market or theme days and events.

Almanacs also used to include weather predictions and other miscellaneous information relating to practical tasks, such as proposing marriage or wet cupping. Do you know where the names of the days of the week come from, or how the date of Easter is determined? And what do almanacs have to do with camels? Visit the exhibition and find out!

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Museum contact details

Helsinki Observatory
Kopernikuksentie 1, 00130 Helsinki

+358 (0) 2941 24244

Museum website


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Helsinki Observatory, Kopernikuksentie 1, 00130 Helsinki


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Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


Payment methods

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Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 12:00-20:00
Fri 12:00-16:00
Sat 12:00-16:00
Sun Closed

Irregular opening hours on our home page.

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