Finnish Independence Day

Publishing this post today is not a coincidence. On December 6, when the world celebrates Saint Nicholas Day, Finns celebrate their Independence Day. Living in Finland I could not possibly do not write about it on my travel blog, could I? πŸ˜‰

Historical Background of Finland’s independence

Finland lost its independence as a result of the second crusade in 1249, and came under the dominion of Sweden. In 1809, after the Finnish War, Sweden and Russia gave back the country its land, but Finland still remained united by a personal union with Russia – the Car of Russia at the same time held the office of the Prince of Finland. In 1917 Russia suffered from two revolutions: February and October. Finland using the chaos in Russia, declared its independence on December 4, and just on the 6th of December 1917 the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Finnish Parliament.

Flag of Finland
Finnish Flag (source:

Celebrations nowadays

We asked our Finnish friends how Independence Day is celebrated in Finland. They said that Finns usually spend it with their families in front of the TV, watching as President greets with famous people. If one does not spend it with their family, s/he can go to the pub, and get drunk. Additionally, for us, Poles, going on that day to a pub would not be a good idea. Why? Because a drunk Finn is not able to distinguish between Polish and Russian, and on Finnish Independence Day many Russians get beat up by drunken Finns.

What we noticed? Before Christmas in the shops there are many candles in the colors of the Finnish flag. WikiHow suggests that every Finn should light the candles on Dec. 6. Sweets and candies are wrapped in paper with the national flag or at least in wnite-and-blue-colored wrappings. Traditionally, the national flag shall be hung up. This day is also a day off from work, so almost all the shops and most of the pubs are closed. For this reason, the day before the 6th of December liquor stores were crowded. You must know that the Finns like to celebrate hard πŸ˜‰

I got to recordings of presidential greetings from last year – 1.5h of welcoming, just for strong and patient people! It is rumored, that every year each Finn also watches the Finnish movie “Unknown Soldier” from 1955, that tells the story of Finnish soldiers fighting the Russian army.

The President greets his guests

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