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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Independence Day (Finland)

Finnish flag on independence day 2011, Tähtitorninmäki, Helsinki, Finland. 6 December 2011. Photo by Htm [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

December 6 is Independence Day (Itsenäisyyspäivä) in Finland. On 6 December 1917, the Parliament of Finland adopted the Finnish Declaration of Independence. Prior to independence, Finland was an autonomous part of the Russian Empire, the Grand Duchy of Finland.

On Independence Day, the Finnish flag is raised on Observatory Hill (Tähtitorninmäki) in Helsinki. There are church services and visits to cemeteries and war memorials. People place blue and white candles in their windows and display Finnish flags. The movie The Unknown Soldier, which is based on Väinö Linna's book of the same name, is shown on television. The film is about the Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II. In the evening, an Independence Day Reception is held at the Presidential Palace. The reception is broadcast on television.

I visited Finland in 2008 and had a wonderful time. Although I have no known Finnish ancestors, according to Family Tree DNA's  myOrigins, 4 percent of my DNA comes from Finland and Northern Siberia. I probably inherited this DNA from my Swedish and/or Norwegian ancestors.

Continuation War
Finnish Declaration of Independence
Finns Celebrate Freedom Every December
Independence Day (Finland)

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