Finland celebrates Independence Day, known as Itsenäisyyspäivä in Finnish, on the 6th of December every year, to commemorate the independence from the Russian rule. Independence came to the Finnish after a very long struggle, and thus they celebrate the Independence Day with great fervour and style.
- Finland was initially a part of the Swedish kingdom.
- Later it formed an autonomous Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire and remained under the Russians for 108 years.
- After the First World War, Finland withdrew from the Russian rule due to disturbances inside Russia because of hardships.
- After discussions and several disagreements between the non-socialists and the social-democrats, Finland finally made a Declaration of Independence on the 4th of December, 1917, which was officially adopted on 6th December, 1917.
Independence Day is a grand celebration in Finland with a combination of solemnity and enjoyment.
- There is a parade held at the Senate Square.
- Students carrying torches walk from the Hietaniemi Cemetery walk to Senate Square.
- Patriotic speeches are given by leaders and the President awards medals for outstanding achievements.
- Tributes are paid at war memorials and special church services are held.
- The colours of the Finnish flags can be seen everywhere.
- People light blue and white candles and place them at the windows.
- All official buildings are decorated in the blue and white colours.
- It is a festive day which the Finnish spend with family and friends and partake on feasts.
- All the offices and shops remain closed this day
- The T.V. broadcasts programmes like patriotic songs and the legendary film The Unknown Soldier.
- Many formal and informal social events are held all over Finland.
- The President hosts an Independence Day reception where all the VIPs are invited.
- In Helsinki the young school children are invited to Finlandia Hall, the landmark building designed by Alvar Aalto, for an Independence Day Gala.