Finland Independence Day

Quick Facts - US

AKA NameItsenäisyyspäivä
HashtagsCompiled on#Finland
2024 DateDecember 6, 2024
2025 DateDecember 6, 2025

Finland Independence Day

Finland Independence Day in
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Finland Independence Day celebrates the nation's independence from Russia and the establishment of the Republic of Finland. It is a day that highlights the importance of freedom, democracy, and national unity, honoring the sacrifices made in pursuit of self-determination. This day also serves as a reminder of Finland's distinctive cultural, social, and economic successes throughout its history, while fostering friendship and cooperation with other nations.

The origins of Finland Independence Day can be traced back to December 6th, 1917, when the Finnish parliament declared independence from Russia, amidst the turbulent times of the Russian Revolution and World War I. Finland hasn't always been under Russian rule, having been a part of Sweden's kingdom until 1809, before being ceded to Russia and forming the Grand Duchy of Finland. Today, Finnish Americans commemorate this day of independence as an opportunity to celebrate their shared heritage, strengthen cultural ties, and build community spirit among the roughly 700,000 Americans of Finnish descent.

In the United States, Finland Independence Day is observed by organized events celebrating Finnish culture, cuisine, and history. Finnish-American communities often host gatherings with traditional food, folk music, and dance performances. These events provide a platform for younger generations to connect with their roots and to celebrate the values of the Finnish people such as sisu - a concept of resilience in the face of adversity. While Finland Independence Day is universally celebrated on December 6th, events in the United States may take place on the closest weekend.

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Top facts about Finland Independence Day

  • The colours of Finland’s flag, white and blue, have become a theme of the day. Bakeries make cakes in those colours and people use them to decorate their homes too.
  • The President holds an Independence Day reception for VIPs and selected guest. The attendees include high-ranking military officers, politicians, police officers and diplomats. Joining the spectacle are prominent athletes, entertainers and activists. About half the population tunes in. TV reporters then comment on what people wear for hours.
  • The period from the late 1800s to the early 1900s saw a significant wave of Finnish migration to the United States. Many Finns settled in the Upper Midwest, particularly in areas such as Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
  • Finns played a prominent role in American labor movements, with many Finns working in mining, logging, and other industries that were known for harsh conditions and low wages. Finns were instrumental in forming labor unions and fighting for better working conditions.
  • Early Finnish settlers were drawn to the Midwest region due to its thriving mining and forestry industries, which offered ample economic opportunities.

Finland Independence Day Top Things to Do

  • Decorate your house with white and blue. The colours of the countries flag provide the visual theme for Finnish Independence Day.
  • Enjoy some time away from the social aspects of Finnish identity and take in the natural landscape. Finland is covered in forest and has some true wilderness close to the Arctic Circle or explore one of the 179.584 islands Finland has to offer.
  • Celebrate the day by making Finnish Pancakes (Pannukakku). Pannukakku is baked in the oven and typically made with basic pantry ingredients, milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and butter.
  • Find a Finnish restaurant or cafe in your area and indulge in traditional Finnish cuisine. Try popular dishes like salmon soup, Karelian pasties, rye bread, and various Finnish desserts.
  • Read A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 by William R. Trotter.

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