December’s status as a season of celebration is arguably even more pronounced in Finland than here in the U.S. Many families light candles on Sunday mornings to commemorate the four Advents, and on December 13th the center of Helsinki is taken over by the annual St. Lucia’s Day parade. December 6th, meanwhile, is Finland’s official birthday, and provides a patriotic note to the already festive season. Exactly 91 years ago, Finland’s Parliament declared the former Grand Duchy of Russia an independent nation.

Perhaps the most notable Independence Day celebration is the Finnish President’s annual reception. Up to 2,000 politicians, military personnel, scientists, athletes, and other notable individuals are invited each year to the formal event. It’s consistently the year’s most viewed event on television.

The Finland Center Foundation would like to wish all of our members and friends a festive and relaxing Independence Day!