explore valo

Few people are well-versed on the glories of Finland, but that is all set to change with the advent of "Valo" (meaning light), a six-week celebration of Finnish culture, which begins tomorrow at the Barbican. The festival coincides with the 80th anniversary of Finnish Independence, and covers every cultural experience, from music to film, visual arts to tango. Among the highlights of a very full programme of events are the LSO Sibelius Cycle, conducted by Sir Colin Davis, at the Barbican Hall (16, 20, 23, 26, 30 Nov); a film season (22 Nov-6 Dec) including the black comedy The Christmas Party (below); and Talvi, a site-specific installation in the Concourse Gallery (from 17 Nov). Tango Finlandia (22 Nov) will be an afternoon of tango, song and dance, and for the duration of "Valo", there's "Lastu" a selling exhibition of furniture and crafts by leading Finnish designers. For Christmas cheer, there will even be an Internet link with Santa in Lapland. Something for everyone.

Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2 (0171-638 8891) 16 Nov-1 Jan