Independence Day in Finland in 2024

  How long until Independence Day?
Independence Day
  Dates of Independence Day in Finland
2025 Finland Sat, Dec 6 National Holiday
2024 Finland Fri, Dec 6 National Holiday
2023 Finland Wed, Dec 6 National Holiday
2022 Finland Tue, Dec 6 National Holiday
2021 Finland Mon, Dec 6 National Holiday

Celebrates Finland's declaration of independence from the Russian Empire in 1917

  Local name

When is Finnish Independence Day?

This holiday is celebrated annually on December 6th 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 December 6th 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.

Official Independence Day festivities usually commence with the raising of the Finnish flag on Tähtitorninmäki ("Observatory Hill") in Helsinki.

A religious service is held at Helsinki Cathedral, and official visits are made to the war memorials of the second world war. Another event is the annual military parade by personnel of the Finnish Defense Forces, which is one of the big highlights and is a nationally televised event.  

Some Finns spend the day watching the classical movie The Unknown Soldier from 1955 by Edvin Laine based on the novel of Väinö Linna, while others enjoy good homemade food, or simply enjoy Finnish winter activities.

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.

A tradition on the day is to watch the president’s Independence Day gala on television. 

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää!

Did you know?

Three facts about Independence Day

The only commonly used English word taken directly from Finnish is 'sauna'.

Finland has more heavy metal bands per capita than any other country in the world.

The first Grand Duke of Finland as part of the Russian Empire was Alexander I, who was also Emperor of Russia and later became King of Poland.

More facts about Independence Day

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