Happy Independence Day Finland! December 6th marks Finland’s anniversary of independence and the day is celebrated across the country with both joy and solemnity.
Independence Day Traditions
The occasion is typically marked by church services and tributes at war memorials. In continuation of a wartime tradition, candles are lit in the windows at 6 pm. During the war, two candles were placed on the window sill, a sign to Finnish soldiers that they could find a safe place within that home.
The recognition of the contributions made by Finnish soldiers to the nation is of major importance on Independence Day. At Hietaniemi Cemetery, tribute will be paid to fallen soldiers by the patrol of guards and the placing of flowers at the Soldier’s Grave monument.
At 5 pm the traditional University Students’ Torch Parade will start at Hietaniemi Cemetery and from there head toward the Senate Square.
Perhaps most famously, the day is marked by the President’s Ball, a dignified and grand event which is hosted by the Finnish President at the Presidential Palace.
However, most Finns celebrate the day in a simple manner, relaxing at home and enjoying a good meal.
What is there to do on Independence Day?
Independence Day is a public holiday, so if you are in Helsinki today you will find that lots of business places are closed, but there are still lots of places that are open. If you are in the city centre be sure to visit the Helsinki Christmas Market at Senate Square as well as Manta’s Christmas Market which is located at Market Square alongside the harbour.
There are quite a few other options that will be open, including:
Attractions & Entertainment:
– Korkeasaari Zoo;
– Jääpuisto ice skating rink at Railway Square;
– Flytour Helsinki;
– Sea Life Helsinki;
– Suomenlinna Museum;
– Allas Sea Pool;
– Sauna Hermanni
– Sauna Arla
– Helsinki Cathedral from 2 pm – 3.15 pm, 4.30 pm – 6 pm
– Suomenlinna church (12 pm – 4 pm)
– Temppeliaukio church 12 pm – 1 pm, 4 pm – 4.30pm
Wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day!