Finnish Independence Day and Torch Parade

The Finnish Independence Day is celebrated on the 6th of December. Independence Day is a public holiday, which means that shops and offices will be closed. Finns might have many different ways of celebrating their Independence Day, but here are a couple of our traditions.

Every year, on Independence Day, the students in Helsinki organize a torch parade and all students are welcome to join. Finnish students usually wear their white student hat for this occasion, but the hat is not a requirement for joining the parade. If you want to join, you can come on your own, or with your student organization (e.g. ESN).

The torch parade starts at Hietaniemi cemetery, where torches will be handed out from 4 pm and the procession starts at 4.45 pm. The parade will arrive at the Senate Square at around 5.45 pm. The event then continues at the Senate Square with speeches and music. Read more on HYY’s webpage.  

Another important tradition is the Presidential Independence Day Reception (or the Presidential Ball). Every year the President hosts a big reception for around 2000 invited guests. The reception is broadcast live, and is one of the biggest events on television every year. Finns especially like to watch the part where the guests come in and shake hands with the President and commentators comment on what the guests are known for and what they are wearing.

Happy Independence Day!