As a rule, the promovendi will participate in the ceremony with their spouse, partner or other companion, who will also be their wreathweaver (Master promovendi) or swordwhetter (Doctor promovendi). The companions will also accompany the promovendi in the dinners and other festivities. The promovendi may also participate in the ceremony solo, in which case the Conferment Committee will take care of weaving the Master’s wreath and the Head Marshal of sharpening a Doctor’s sword.
Details on the programme and schedules of the Conferment Ceremony will be updated to this website as they are confirmed. The first event will be held on Flower’s Day, 13 May 2022, and the ceremony proper will take place on 19-21 May 2022. Below you will find a walkthrough of the ceremony’s programme.
Flower’s Day, Thursday 13 May
Choosing the Official Wreathweaver in the Assembly
In a Latin-language assembly organised on Flower’s Day morning, the Conferment Committee chooses the Official Wreathweaver. The chosen person is the child of one of the faculty’s professor and is traditionally of marriageable age. The Official Wreathweaver’s essential task is to assist the Master promovendi’s companions (wreathweavers) in preparing the laurel wreaths for the promovendi. After the assembly, a group of promovendi will make their way to the professor’s house to woo the chosen child to accept this honourable task.
More details on Flower’s Day’s programme to follow.
Wreathweaving and Swordwhetting, Thursday 21 May 2022
In Wreathweaving the wreatheweavers of the Master promovendi, i.e. the companions, prepare the laurel wreath for the promovendi under the Official Wreathweaver’s guidance. The Wreathweaving takes place at the University’s main buiding in conjunction with the Act rehearsal.
In the Conferment Act, the Conferrer confers each of the master promovendi in turn by placing the wreaths on promovendi’s heads, and the newly conferred masters will wear their wreaths during the following dinner and ball. The Conferment Committee will prepare the wreaths of those promovendi participating alone.
The promovendi first escort their companions to the Conferment Act Rehearsal, and after the opening speeches, the promovendi themselves also proceed to the rehearsal.
Conferment Act Rehearsal
The Promovendi rehearse the choreographies on the day before the Conferment Act. Participating in the rehearsal is essential for all promovendi. The Doctor promovendi arrive directly to the Act Rehearsal and leave just before the Masters in order to proceed to the Swordwhetting.
The Doctors’ swords need to be sharpened before the Conferment Act. The Swordswhetting is normally immediately after the Act Rehearsal. In this event, the Doctor promovendi’s companions, the swordwhetters, spin a grindstone and the promovendi whet their swords. Traditionally during the event, the Doctors say a few celebratory words. To ensure a successful whetting, the grindstone is continuously basted with sparkling wine, the liquid manifestation of the spirit of the ceremony.
Wreathweaving and Swordwhetting Banquet Dinner
After the Wreathweaving and the Swordwhetting, the promovendi proceed to a banquet dinner with their companions.
Conferment Act, Friday 20 May 2022
The Conferment, or bestowment of the academic status of Master and Doctor to the promovendi, will take place in the Great Hall of the University of Helsinki. The Conferment Act begins with a procession of the promovendi, their companions and the guests. During the Act, the doctoral and the master seremonial questions and answers are heard, and the promovendi are conferred with their academic status, as are honorary doctors selected by the faculty. Masters and doctors conferred in the ceremony of 1971 receive the honorary title of Jubilee Master and Jubilee Doctor, respectively. The closest family members and the loved ones of the promovendi are welcome to attend the event as spectators.
Ecumenical Church Service
After the Conferment Act the participants move in procession to an ecumenical church service at Helsinki Cathedral. The church service is given by a preacher chosen specificially for the event.
Instead of the church service, the promovendi may choose to take part in the secular service. The secular service takes place at the same time as the church service and the procession is the same to both services. The secular service consists of speeches and musical performances.
After the Promotion festives, a solemn banquet dinner is held.
Promotion Excursion and Ball Day, Saturday 21 May 2022
Recovering from the exertions imposed by the Conferment Act necessitates an informal gathering in the Promotion Excursion. Details concerning the picnic will be updated here later. In the 2016 Promotion the Excursion was sailing, so enjoying good company and beautiful milieu is expected.
After the Excursion, clothes are changed and there are preparations for the evening’s Ball.
Dinner and Ball
The traditional Ball is held on the evening following the day of the Conferment Act. In addition to other ballroom dances, the Masters will dance the well-rehearsed Masters’ contra dance whereas the Doctors dance Doctors’ polonaise. Among the dances, dinner is enjoyed, and some speeches are held. The evening formally concludes with the Conferrer leaving, but the night continues with a procession in Helsinki’s summer night.
Nocturnal procession and breakfast
After the ball, the night continues with a procession around Helsinki. During the procession, speeches are given, and nocturnal surprises are encountered. The procession ends with greetings to the rising sun in the early hours of the following morning. Following sunrise, the participants proceed to breakfast, which concludes the celebrations.