Sword Sharpening Ceremony

The first Sword Sharpening Ceremony was held at the University of Turku in 1965. At the event in 1980, Doctor of Medicine and Surgery Raili Peltonen said in her welcome speech that already in 1897 the host of the wreath binding ceremony, Councillor of State Lindelöf, had to defend the ceremonial conferment tradition which was accused as being behind the times. The conferred doctors in1980 also took a stand in the matter with the following words:

We, this year’s conferred doctors, wanted to follow the conferment tradition as closely as possible. Even though the Sword Sharpening Ceremony does not have as long a history as the Wreath Binding Ceremony, we wanted to treasure the tradition wherein those who are to be conferred gather together for a celebration the evening before the Conferment Ceremony. We do not have laurel leaves imported from Greek to bind, but we have brought two grindstones from Vanhalinna, which we will use to sharpen the swords of our minds so that they will be at their best tomorrow.

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