This year we are so excited to be in a Scandinavian country that celebrates Lucia Day on a much larger scale. We have had our girls take part with this day every year back in the States starting when they were able to walk. This year we went to see how the Swedish-Finns celebrate the day. Each year a young maiden is chosen to represent St. Lucia on Lucia Day which is the 13th of December. She is crowned in Helsinki Cathedral and then descends down the main steps to greet the people. The steps were lined with children wearing Santa/Elf caps and they were holding lanterns. There was a band playing the Sankta Lucia song. At the bottom of the steps awaited a vehicle to take St. Lucia around Helsinki with a small parade.
Monthly Archives: December 2012
The sixth of December is celebrated as the Independence Day in Finland. This year they celebrated their 95th year of Independence from Soviet Russia. It is a national holiday for the country and all public offices and banks are closed. The day is celebrated in a grand fashion all throughout Finland and specially in the larger cities and towns. The style of celebrating Independence Day in Finland has also changed with changing times. Today the celebrations are loud and on a larger scale. I don’t think it is as big as our Independence Day (USA – Fourth of July), but for a small country like Finland I guess it is big.
Finland Independence Day was initially celebrated by lighting two candles in honor of the country, but that has been enhanced with several other festivities. The first festivity commences with the unfurling of the Finland national flag in Tahtitorni Hill, Helsinki, followed by a divine service in the cathedral of Helsinki. The president of Finland arranges a grand party at his palace, where war ex-servicemen act as chief guests. This is a widely watched program in Finland. This takes place for several hours on Finnish television.
Independence Day in Finland is also celebrated with parades by students and army personnel. They award medals to the eminent people in the society, in many functions. Patriotic speeches are delivered by politicians and eminent people of the society. The important buildings of the country are decorated with Finnish flags. There are various music concerts and street parties held on Independence Day.
Below you see the girls with our two Finnish candles.
To all our Finnish Friends – Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää!