Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Sami National Day – February 6, 2023

Sámi National Day on February 6 is a cultural celebration for the Sámi people. On this day in 1917, the first Sámi congress took place in Trondheim, Norway. The national holiday is also called ‘Samenes Nasjonaldag.’ The Sámi people, or ‘Urbefolkning’ in Norwegian, are indigenous people who live mainly in Norway, but also in Finland, Russia, and Sweden.

History of Sami National Day

On February 6, 1917, Northern and Southern Sámi people came together for the first time for a joint meeting in Trondheim, Norway. Historically crucial, the common concerns of the community were shared and addressed as they worked together to find solutions. The latest statistics estimate that 80,000 Sami people are spread across the four countries — 50,000 in Norway, 20,000 in Sweden, 8,000 in Finland, and 2,000 in Russia.

Sami National Day was created during the proceedings of the 15th Sami conference in Helsinki in 1992. As a combined minority of four countries, Sami people were looked down upon at one point in history. Many laws were forced upon them in an attempt to mold them with the general population. This led to a need for establishing a dedicated day to appreciate them. The first Sámi National Day was observed on February 6, 1993. At the same time, the United Nations proclaimed the opening of the International Year of Indigenous People in Sweden.

Ever since, this holiday has been celebrated grandly by the Sami people residing in Norway. The Sami flag is seen everywhere, and the Sami language is used to chant, sing songs, and the national anthem.

Sami National Day timeline

February 6, 1917
A Joint Meeting

The Sami people’s congress meets for the first time.

1986
The Sami Flag

An important symbol representing the Sami people, the Sami flag is approved at the 13th Nordic Sami Conference.

1992
National Celebration

The Sami National Day is adopted in Norway.

1993
First Celebration

The Sami National Day is celebrated for the first time.

Sami National Day FAQs

How do people celebrate Sami National Day?

Sami National Day is widely celebrated all over Norway and in other countries where Sami people live. The cultural significance of the day is discussed and shared especially in schools. The Sami flag is hoisted, and the national anthem is sung. Traditional food is cooked and the signature clothing of the Sami people is worn today.

How do you say Happy Sami day in Sami?

‘Lihkku Sámi Álbmotbeivviin!’

What is Sami nationality?

Sami are the indigenous people of Northern Sweden, Finland, Norway, and a small part of Russia.

How to Observe Sami National Day

  1. Learn about the Sami people

    Sami people are majorly indigenous and are relatively still considered a minority, but their culture is rich and unique. Learn about their traditions and history.

  2. Eat ‘reinsdyrkjøtt’

    Eat the popular Sami dishes on Sami National Day. Try reindeer meat, or reinsdyrkjøtt and fish.

  3. Wear traditional clothing

    What better way to get into the spirit of the day than by wearing the traditional ‘gákti’ of the Sami people? Wear traditional Sami clothing with respect for the culture and heritage.

5 Interesting Facts About The Sami Flag

  1. Designer of the flag

    Astrid Båhl from Skibotn in Norway designed the flag of the Sami people.

  2. The color scheme is intentional

    The flag’s colors, red, blue, green, and yellow, are the same as in the traditional Sami costume known as 'kolt.'

  3. The colors are also symbolic

    The colors chosen represent essentials that are important for living — red for fire, green for plants, yellow for the sun, and blue for water.

  4. The sun and the moon

    The circles on the flag represent both the sun and the moon.

  5. Compulsory traditions

    Municipal administrative buildings must fly the Norwegian flag and also the Sami flag.

Why Sami National Day is Important

  1. It celebrates a minority group

    The Sami people are well-celebrated throughout the region on this day, but it wasn’t always that way. The community has had a long history of struggle for appreciation, and we are all for giving it!

  2. It is an important holiday

    Sami National Day is overall a very important event for Norwegians. It is ideal for learning about the roots of the country’s culture, values, and history.

  3. Breaking barriers

    Globalization is gradually eliminating barriers and accepting people for who they are. Indigenous people and minorities are getting the recognition they deserve, and Sami National Day is one such day advocating this.

Sami National Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 6Monday
2024February 6Tuesday
2025February 6Thursday
2026February 6Friday
2027February 6Saturday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.