Independence Day in Estonia in 2021

Independence Day in Estonia in 2021
Flag of Estonia. Image by Ville Säävuori , via Flickr

  How long until Independence Day?
This holiday next takes place in 150 days.
  Dates of Independence Day in Estonia
2022 Estonia Thu, Feb 24 National Holiday
2021 Estonia Wed, Feb 24 National Holiday
2020 Estonia Mon, Feb 24 National Holiday
2019 Estonia Sun, Feb 24 National Holiday
2018 Estonia Fri, Feb 23 National Holiday
  Summary
Marks the declaration of independence from the Germans near the end of the first world war.
  Local name
Iseseisvuspäev

When is Estonian Independence Day?

Estonian Independence Day (iseseisvuspäev) is a public holiday in Estonia, always celebrated on February 24th.

This is Estonia's National Day, marking the anniversary of the declaration founding the Republic of Estonia on this day in 1918.

History of Estonian Independence Day

On February 24th 1918, Estonia issued a declaration of independence from the new Soviet Russia, which was followed by a war with the Soviets to maintain Estonian liberty.

On February 2nd 1920, the war ended with the Tartu Peace Treaty which guaranteed Estonia's independence for all time.

The Soviets went on to break this pact, however, and Estonia was under Soviet control for over 50 years.

In August 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The pact's secret protocol divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence, with Estonia belonging to the Soviet sphere. During this time, the Soviet's "Russification" policy meant the Estonian flag was forbidden, with Russian was made the country's official language.

In 1991 Estonia re-established its sovereignty after the peaceful "Singing Revolution" against Soviet rule, which saw music used as a tool of resistance and a declaration of intent. 

Estonians start their Independence Day at sunrise with the traditional flag-hoisting on Toompea, a hill in the capital, Tallinn, and in other Estonian towns in the morning and progress through the day with church services, the military parade in Freedom Square, an open-air free concert in central Tallinn, and the President's reception in the evening.

Did you know?

Tallinn’s Old Town is the most intact medieval city in Europe. It has remained almost completely unchanged since the 13th century.

Estonian Flag

The current flag of Estonia was adopted after independence from Russia in 1918. It was formally adopted on November 21st 1918, following its use as a symbol during the war of independence.

The colours of the national flag are meant to represent Estonian history, nature and traditions. Blue represents faith, loyalty and devotion as well as the sky, sea, and lakes. Black represents the dark past and suffering of the Estonian people as well as the traditional black jacket of the Estonian peasant. White symbolises both snow in the winter and the light summer nights.

The origin of the Estonian flag is said to date back to 1881 when a group of university students, emboldened by Estonia's national awakening, adopted blue, black and white as their fraternity's colours.

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