On October 4 in Helsinki will be opened Silakkamarkkinat - Sprat Fair. It is the oldest city event of the Finnish capital, and this year's Fair will be held for the 267th time. It is in autumn in Finland where there is the peak of the season of sprat fishing (Baltic herring) and in the early October hundreds of small fishing vessels go to Helsinki to profitably sell their catch and take part in Silakkamarkkinat. Ships sail from the Aland islands, Turku and Kotka archipelagos, from Hanko as well as from other coastal cities. They dock at the pier of the Market Square and sell the fish directly from the ships. The Sprat Fair will be opened promptly at 11.00 am by the Mayor of Helsinki Jussi Pajunen, and for a whole week at the market square will reign the atmosphere of celebration and fun. The Sprat Fair is not only fresh fish, but it is also a paradise for gourmets and lovers of seafood, right on the square you can taste the herring, cooked in many different ways: grilled, roasted, smoked and marinated in all kinds of various marinades. By the way, here you can buy marinades itself to prepare a delicacy at home. The herring is particularly served with the insular brown bread that is baked according to traditional recipes right here. On the first day of Silakkamarkkinat as usual is held a contest for the best spicy salted herring and the best appetizer made from herring. The winners will receive certificates and prizes, and visitors - the opportunity to taste the first the best delicacies of the year.
The first city in Finland, which received the right to arrange such a fair, was Vyborg in 1545. Helsinki has received such a license only in 1743 and since then until today the very fair in Helsinki determines the price of salt fish throughout Finland. At the same time the permission to trade are given only those who can prove that they are engaged in fishing or the preparation of dishes from fish and as proof to sell at least 500 kg of sea delicacies.
On the last day of the fair will be held another interesting event, the regatta of ancient sailing vessels that can be observed from the Katajanokka peninsula and Kajvopusto park.