Finnish Independence Day

national and public holidays in France National Holiday in Finland

Helsinki, Finland

When is Finnish Independence Day?

How long until Independence day?
This holiday next takes place in 231 Days.
Dates of Independence day
Year Weekday Date
2020 Sunday December 6th
2019 Friday December 6th
2018 Thursday December 6th
2017 Wednesday December 6th
2016 Tuesday December 6th
1 Day
Local Name
Celebrates Finland's declaration of independence from the Russian Empire in 1917

This holiday is celebrated annually on 6 December and marks the Declaration of Independence from the Russian empire by the Finnish Parliament in 1917.

History of Finnish Independence Day

Finland had been part of the Russian Empire since 1809. Following the Russian revolution and the defeats in the First World War, movements within Finland pushed for independence from Russia and on 6 December 1917, the parliament declared Finland as an independent state.

How is Finnish Independence Day Celebrated?

First celebrated in 1919, Independence Day was initially a solemn occasion with patriotic speeches and special Church services.

In more recent times the Independence day celebration has become a more vibrant occasion with the blue and white colours of the Finnish flag being proudly displayed in shop windows and bakeries producing cakes with blue and white icing.

Marking the centenary

The theme of Independence Day as Finland marks 100 years in 2017 is 'Together', the idea being that everyone – Finns and the friends of Finns – are welcome to take part, just as creating and building the Finnish nation was a joint effort.

An Independence Day tradition is for families to light two candles in the windows of their homes in the evening. This custom became commonplace during the 1920s and is said to recall a time when two candles were placed in the window as a sign to Finnish soldiers that the house would offer them shelter and hide them from the Russians.

It may also represent a custom of placing candles in windows on the birthday of poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg as a silent protest against perceived Russian oppression.

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