How we Celebrate Finland Independence Day

How we Celebrate Finland Independence Day

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I have been living in this country for 14 years now and I like how they celebrate Finland Independence Day. How do we celebrate it?

Finland Independence Day is a flag day, a holiday for school and work but nowadays shops are open during this day. Few years back, it is a total holiday.

Hyvää 102 Itsenäisyyspäivää Suomi ja suomalaiset! Happy 102 Years of Independence Finland!

During this day, people just relax and enjoy being together and watch tv most of the time 🙂 We do, it is one of those days that television is actually ON all the time.

Starting in the morning, there are various programs for kids from the youngest and followed by family movies. 

We used to also watch during mid-day, not with kids this Tuntematon sotilas (The Unknown Soldier) which was a movie from 1955 and is shown in black and white color. There is a new version of this movie from 2017 too.

It is difficult to focus watching if you are like me, a mom to two toddlers knowing that this movie lasts three hours! This time, we did not watch it at all though because our school girls were watching another movie.

Finnish Lunch served

I like to prepare a very Finnish food during this lunch and not during dinner. So I prepared sautéed reindeer or poronkäristys which is common in the northern part of Finland and other countries in the Lapland area. 

This is very good with the lingonberry jam which is from our harvest of lingonberry from the forest during autumn. 

What else is the best combination for this but no other than mashed potatoes.

sautéed reindeer or poronkäristys

Finnish Dessert

My daughters prepared the Finnish Christmas Star Pastry or Joulutorttu. This is made of puff pastry what we bought as ready frozen from the shop. They put it on the oven tray with the baking paper to defrost. There were five pieces of rectangular shapes. I preheat the oven to 220C.

They cut it into two so it will look like a square shape. Then cut all the edges to the centre, not totally but leave a space before the centre. 

Then fold the edges, not all but every other edge to form a star looking pastry. Add on top the prune marmalade or jam. Then put to the oven for 10 minutes or until it becomes golden brown. 

Finnish by sprinkle with icing sugar! Ready to serve

Of course, they wanted to have chocolate so there is chocolate too!

Finnish Christmas Star Pastry or Joulutorttu
Simply Finnoy Mom Instagram

Candle Lighting

In the afternoon after the youngest woke up from day nap, kids went playing and I prepared the snacks on the table with the candlelight. I used blue candles. It is of tradition to have the white and blue candle during this Finnish Independence Day Celebration.

The snacks consist of salted cookies, chocolates, Karelian pie, the rest of the Christmas star pastry, tortilla chips and the kids all-time favourite, the mud cake! Picture is there in my Instagram account, you can also follow my IG 🙂

Independence Day Reception

For the evening program, after dinner, we went watching from the tv on the Independence Day Reception. It is of the tradition every year to have this Reception hosted by the President of Finland. 

Finland Independence Day Reception

There are thousands of guest that has been invited and traditionally greet the President personally by shaking their hands. It is not only politicians from Finland and other countries, diplomats, veterans but other important people are invited. 

It is always nice to see who is invited and also it’s common to see different kind of beautiful dresses among all the lady guests.

There was once a Filipina who lived in Finland for a long time who has been invited to this event. She’s a very humble and kind woman whom I meet once personally.

It is also good to have the taste of Christmas while watching by drinking the mulled wine or Glögi.

More of this pictures and news from the Independence Party can be found in Yle.

Sometimes we also spend sauna night to end the celebration but this time, time went so fast so we decided to have sauna the next day.

Fun fact of my two countries

Discard the year – Do you know that Finland Independence Day is 6.12 and our Philippine Independence Day is also on 6.12? Yes, it is, but not actually the same day, because we write our days and month the other way. 

In our country, we write MM-DD while Finland writes it as DD-MM. So if you see that we write those dates like that, check which country it is written.

Now that Finland Independence Day Celebration is over, I can start decorating for Christmas already indoor. It has been many weeks we had outside.

Anyway, if you are an expat who live here in Finland, how do you celebrate the Finland Independence Day?

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