Finland’s Independence Day is on December 6 and Finns all over the world are ready to kick off this year’s celebrations with a blast! While independence days of countries all over the world include numerous festivities, Finland is famous for memorializing their freedom from Russia in 1917 with a gala often held at the Presidential Palace. This gala usually has over 2,000 invited guests and is also broadcasted live. Read on to find out more about Finland’s Independence Day!
History of Independence Day
Gaining independence was a long and strenuous process for the citizens of Finland. Many battles were fought and thousands of lives were lost. Since numerous sacrifices were made for the freedom of the nation, Finns celebrate Independence Day by hosting grand festivities, whilst paying tribute to the martyrs.
From around the 12th century to 1809, Finland was part of Sweden. However, since Sweden was weak after the war with Napoleon, it was unable to defend Finland and the Russians saw this as the perfect opportunity to take control of the country. The fight for freedom against Russia began from the moment they took over in 1809. During the Russian rule, intense efforts were also made to modify the culture of Finland. Known as the ‘Russification of Finland’, these efforts received severe backlash from the Finns. It also made the Finns realize that having their own separate country was the only option left for their survival and they began to work towards attaining their independence from Russia. In 1856, the Fennoman movement was launched and the use of Finnish as the national language was promoted. The idea behind this movement was to ensure that the national identity of the Finns was not lost and their interests were brought to the forefront.
In 1917, because of the defeats faced in World War I and the Russian revolution, the czar nation had become weak. Seeing this as an opportunity, the Finns pushed for independence and created a Declaration of Independence on December 4, 1917. The Finnish parliament officially adopted the Declaration on December 6, 1917 — from then on recognizing that day as the Independence Day of Finland.
Independence Day timeline
The first ball is held in the time of the Diet of Porvoo.
An elaborate event is held at the old Helsinki railway station.
President Lauri Relander begins the tradition of holding large galas to celebrate independence.
The Swedish Prince Gustaf Adolf is the guest of honor at the gala this year.
Independence Day FAQs
How do you say Happy Independence Day in Finnish?
‘Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää’ means ‘Happy Independence Day’ in Finnish.
Who owned Finland 100 years ago?
Over 100 years ago, Finland was under Swedish Rule.
How does Finland celebrate Independence Day?
The celebrations start with a flag-raising ceremony and end with various festivities including an Independence Day Gala at the Presidential Palace.
How to Celebrate Finland Independence Day
Write a poem
Feeling a lot of love for Finland? Get your creative juices flowing and write a poem that awakens the spirit of nationalism in all fellow countrymen. The idea is to write a poem that is so impactful that it stays in your family for years to come.
Arrange an Independence Day carnival
This one is not as hard as it sounds. All you need is the help of relevant authorities, a venue, some sponsors, and a few patriotic volunteers. The carnival could serve food, have a few games, a fortune teller, a kissing booth, etc. Give back to your community by donating all the collected funds to charity.
Plant some trees for Finland
Anyone can do fireworks and throw parties to celebrate Finland’s Independence Day, but very few activities actually benefit the country’s future. Do your part by gathering a group of friends and planting trees in your community. Go green!
5 Fun Facts About Finland
The annual World Happiness Report
Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world for four years in a row.
People in Finland drink the most coffee in the world — 26 lbs per individual, annually.
Saunas are a part of the culture
The country has almost 3 million saunas.
Land of a thousand lakes
Finland has around 187,888 lakes.
A cold country
The coldest temperature measured in Finland was -60.7℉ in 1999.
Why Independence Days Are Important
They serve as a positive reminder
Independence days of different countries are celebrated all year round to remind nations of all the hardships their citizens had to go through to achieve freedom. They also serve an educational purpose.
They ensure history does not repeat itself
Achieving independence often requires sacrificing thousands of lives. Celebrating Independence Day yearly and paying tribute to the lost lives ensures politicians work towards building peace.
They revive a sense of patriotism
Admit it, Independence Day festivities always trigger a sense of nationalism that many of us did not even know existed in our hearts. Independence Day celebrations are essential to light the fire of patriotism in the hearts of the youth.
Independence Day dates