Independence Day in Finland in 2020

  Dates of Independence Day in Finland
2022 Finland Tue, Dec 6 National Holiday
2021 Finland Mon, Dec 6 National Holiday
2020 Finland Sun, Dec 6 National Holiday
2019 Finland Fri, Dec 6 National Holiday
2018 Finland Thu, 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.

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. 

Did you know?

Three facts about Independence Day

Finland has 179,888 islands and 187,888 lakes

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

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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