Operation Peace Flower

Plant and grow sunflowers at home, at work, at day-care, at school, etc. When summer comes, we will plant the flowers together in a park or meadow. In summer, the flowers that grow will symbolise peace, friendship, hope and cooperation. In August, when the flowers bloom, we will gather again for a joint event.

Originating in Kotka, the aim is to promote peace, friendship, encounters between people from different backgrounds, dialogue and cooperation. The activities will start in Kotka and we warmly welcome other Finnish cities, congregations, organisations and communities to join us.

Operation Peace Flower distributes sunflower seeds in Kotka city libraries.

Follow Operation Peace Flower on Facebook

Page in Ukrainian language

Page in Finnish language

Share your sunflower photos on social media

Operation Peace Flower is progressing when Ukraine’s National Day is celebrated on August 24. The sunflowers planted in early summer are blooming and we have already seen some wonderful pictures of the beautiful peace flowers. In honor of National Day, we want to show our support to Ukrainians by organizing a social media event in which everyone can participate in the way they choose.

The idea behind the capture is to share a picture or pictures of sunflowers, for example as a profile picture, cover picture or even in stories with the tag #operationpeaceflower. If you want, you can also add #merikaupunkikotka. This way we get to admire the field of peace flower pictures in digital form and spread the message of peace to the whole world.


The operation will start on 30 March 2022

Maritime Centre Vellamo Auditorium at 6.00 p.m.
The event will include speeches and musical performances.

The father of the idea, journalist and documentary film-maker Rasoul Khorram, will be guests in Kotka.

The City of Kotka will be addressed by Pasi Hirvonen, Chairman of the City Council.

Sunflower seeds will be distributed at the event. From Thursday 31 March, they can be retrieved from the city libraries.

Event information on Facebook

Watch the event on YouTube

Operaatio RauhankukkaPlanting of seedlings 6 June 2022

Mussalo Great Meadows from 5.30 to 7.00 p.m. At the intersection of Saarinkotie and Harjantauksentie, on the green side near the old dog park. Parking in the K-Market Mussalo car park. Follow the signs.

The event will include the planting of sunflower seedlings by city residents, music, and speeches by Tomi Purovaara, Cultural Director, and Inka Setälä, Green Environment Inclusion Coordinator.

Participants are advised to bring a planting shovel or similar tool. If you can’t make it, you have until Wednesday 8 June to do your planting. After that, the area will be closed for flower viewing, and you can no longer walk in the sunflower field or pick flowers.

Operaatio RauhankukkaAn Evening in Peace 15 September 2022

The doors to the Concert Hall (Keskuskatu 22, Kotka) open at 17:00, after which you have an hour to enjoy the coffee offered by restaurant Vausti and to get acquainted with Ukrainian crafts and pastries. In the hall, the programme starts at 18:00.

Speakers at the event are Pasi Hirvonen, Chair of the City Council, Irina Chumak, representative of the association Ukrainalaisten yhdistys Kotkassa, Rasoul Khorram, the father of the Peace Flower idea, and Hiwa Haghi, an active member of the Peace United football team.

The performers include Ukrainian musicians settled in Kotka as well as young musicians from the Kotka Region Music Institute.

The ceremony will be hosted by Kerli Puusepp from Multicultural centre Mylly.

The event An Evening in Peace is produced in cooperation between the City of Kotka, Kotka-Kymi Parish and Ukrainalaisten yhdistys Kotkassa. The event is free of charge.

Involvement of municipalities, congregations, organisations and communities

AuringonkukkiaThe City of Kotka invites Finnish municipalities, congregations, organisations and communities to join in. The operation is simple and literally starts from the grassroots. Cities and other actors involved will share sunflower seeds in their communities and networks. Seeds can be distributed at municipal libraries, events or community meetings, for example.

Participants will plant seeds at home, in schools, at day-care centres or at work, for example. Once the seedlings have grown and the ground has warmed up in May/June, a joint event will be organised to plant the seedlings in a chosen common place and/or several places in urban areas, parks and meadows. A joint planting event is a great way to enjoy a different kind of programme and a get-together.

After the summer growing season, in August, an event will be held in the resulting garden/meadow of peace as a demonstration of peace, friendship and compassion for the victims of wars.

Feel free to share the idea and adapt it to different situations.


Register by sending an email to viestinta@kotka.fi with the subject “Operation Peace Flower”.

The birth of the operation

Auringonkukkia pellolla. Kuva: Karol Wisniewski

The idea for Operation Peace Flower was brought to Kotka by Rasoul Khorram, a Helsinki-based journalist and documentary film-maker who has previously carried out projects related to sunflowers and peace in Helsinki and in Iranian Kurdistan. After Tomi Purovaara, Cultural Director, gathered a working group around the topic, activities began to take shape and organisations and communities in Kotka quickly got involved.

“Sunflowers need each other to survive in the meadow,and each flower is a beautiful individual. Together in a meadow, they are a spectacular sight, regardless of the nationality or background of the person sowing the flower.” says Emmi Inberg, a member of the working group that prepared the activity in Kotka.

“The peace flower brings a message of peace in our troubled times.” Tomi Purovaara, Cultural Director of the City of Kotka.

Further information:
Cultural Director Tomi Purovaara, tel. +358 (0)40 668 2747, tomi.purovaara@kotka.fi
Journalist and documentary film-maker Rasoul Khorrom, tel. +358 (0)44 353 1055, rasoul.khorram@icloud.com

Press releases
Kotka launches Operation Peace Flower campaign for peace and friendship – all Finnish municipalities, communities and organizations are invited to join in

Operation Peace Flower seedlings to be planted in Mussalo

Operation Peace Flower in Kotka to continue and expand

Operation Peace Flower in Kotka to culminate in the event An Evening in Peace at the Concert Hall



Kotkan kaupunki

Kotkan kaupungin päiväkodit ja varhaiskasvatus:
Pihkoon päiväkoti
Katariinan päiväkoti
Merimajan päiväkoti
Sateenkaaren päiväkoti
Malmingin päiväkoti
Raitin päiväkoti
Korkeakosken päiväkoti ja esiopetus
Karhulan avoin varhaiskasvatus

Kotka-Kymin seurakunta

Kotkan Helluntaiseurakunta

Taitojen talo / SPR

Mieli ry


Arbor Mundi

Kolibri ry

Rannikon Martat

Kotka Pride


Ekamin kieli- ja kulttuurikoulutus

Kotkan seudun musiikkiopisto

Autismisäätiö, Kotkan ohjaus-ja valmennuspalvelut



Lempäälän Kiinteistöhuolto ja -tekniikka Lekitek Oy

Suomen Kotiseutuliitto

Kotkan operaation auringonkukansiemenet tarjoaa yhteistyössä Malmgård Riistasiemen Oy.