This is the 99th time that the date 6. December has been significant in Finland. Since 1917 it has marked the freedom of this country.
For me Independence day has always been one of my favourite public holidays, right after Christmas. There’s something in the atmosphere of the day that makes it so special. It’s serene but joyful, patriotic but easy-going, family-oriented but social. J and I got engaged on 6. December 2007 since we both like the day so much.
The day in general includes visits to the cemetery to commemorate those who lost their lives in the war. Our nation is so tiny that pretty much all of us have relatives who have fought or served in some other way in the two wars between 1939 and 1945. We have military parades, speeches and medals awarded by the president.
We have our blue and white flags flying in all poles, special pastries and chocolates, good food and two candles on the window sill. Towards the evening the spirit gets lighter, we might open up a bottle of bubbly and start preparing to get comfy on the sofa to watch the closet equivalent we have to the Oscars in Finland: the presidential reception. The president invites hundreds of people to a fancy reception at the presidential palace. It’s mainly local celebrities, politicians, business elite and ambassadors but also ordinary people usually commendable from something they’ve done during the year. The rest of us watch it on TV and try to pick out the nicest dress.
At the presidential reception media interviews the guests and usually they ask everyone of the significance of Finland’s independence to them. It’s become a bit of a cliche but I figured why not try to give you an idea of what the freedom of Finland means to me.
Fresh air and nature
Happy Independence Day! And happy 99th birthday, Finland.
We are approaching a wonderful year of celebration for Finland as 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of our freedom. For more info visit the Suomi Finland 100 -site.