The Finnish Society of Melbourne is this month hosting the 15th annual Baltic Festival at Altona.

The festival celebrates the cultures of the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Jeffery McDougall said that since the Finnish Society was hosting this year’s festival, most of the food and beverages would be from the host nation.

“We’ve got Finnish meat pies – they call it lihapiirakka,” he said. “There’s going to be pulla cinnamon sweet rolls. There will be beverages from the bar. Again, since we’re hosting it, most of the beverages will be Finnish or Australian.

“One of the popular drinks that the Finnish people have is called lonkero, and that’s a flavoured gin in a can.”

“There’ll be a concert where people can see the different choirs and folk-dancing groups and cultural performances.”

Tuire Karaharju-Huisman said the festival started 15 years ago at Altona’s Finnish Hall with the theme of “Sounds of the ocean”.

“We had great participation then and it is wonderful that we are still going strong and have many groups of young people also taking part,” she said.

This year’s theme is “Springtime”, celebrating rejuvenation and regrowth. The Baltic Festival is on Sunday, October 20 from 1-4pm at Finnish Hall, 119 Pier Street, Altona.