Independence Day

The Independence Day of Finland is on 6 December. It is a national public holiday in celebration of Finland’s declaration of independence from the Russian Empire on this day in 1917. Earlier in the 20th century, the day used to be a very serious holiday of patriotic speeches and Church services. Nowadays it is still one of the more quiet holidays, marked with candles, blue-and-white decorations, concerts and ceremonies. It is also customary for Finns to light two candles in each window of their home.

The biggest official event of the day is the Presidential Independence Reception at the Presidential Palace, where the President welcomes 2,000 or more invited guests. These guests are high officers, members of the Government or Parliament, celebrities, representatives of foreign missions and other honoured members of the Finnish society. The reception is watched on TV by a large part of the population each year. There are those who oppose the event for political reasons, but many people see it as an entertaining occasion to watch celebrities and comment on the crazy fashion statements.