There are some national holidays in Finland:
- January, 1 - New Year,
- January, 6 - Epiphany,
- In April - Good Friday, Easter,
- May, 1 - May Day,
- In May - Ascension Day,
- May-June - Whitsunday,
- June, 22-24 - Midsummer Day,
- November, 1 - Hallowmas,
- December, 6 - Independence Day,
- December, 24-26 - Christmas.
Attitude to holidays in Finland
Finns respect their national values and love to celebrate holidays. Many private firms, government agencies and banks usually don’t work these days.
Each holiday means a lot for the citizens of this country. Holiday for Finns is an incredibly important event, which is carefully prepared for beforehand. They think over everything in details: the program, the food, the gifts and so on. Finns are considered to be the true patriots of their country. That’s why they prefer the gifts, which are made in their native Finland.
Christmas and New Year in Finland
Finnish winter in itself reminds a holiday: wonderful nature is dressed in a fantastic snow-white lace. It seems that everything has stood motionless and waited for something extraordinarily beautiful and mysterious. The wonder doesn’t make you to wait for a long time - Christmas comes. And then, close in the tracks, the New Year comes. During these special holidays in Finland the thousands of people are directed towards the North, to Lapland, to visit Santa Claus.
At that time a Christmas tree, gifts, merry childish laughter, tasty dinner wait for you at home. Traditional Christmas meal - a huge ham, which is baked on a low heat, usually served up with steamed carrots and turnips. Finns also cook the turkey, different salads and various fish dishes, and, of course, baked puddings: with liver, potatoes, carrots, turnips.
You can merrily celebrate New Year in a “Snow Village” in Ounasvaara. Colorful performances, unforgettable meetings with fabulous heroes, carnival, fireworks and incendiary music will not allow anybody to stand back and be bored. You’ll also have an opportunity to see the traditional “Winter Show”, where the best skiers, snowboarders and reindeer herders of this northern country will demonstrate their skills.
Easter in Finland
Easter traditions in Finland are very interesting. People of different religions - Lutherans, Catholics and Orthodoxies - celebrate the Resurrection of Christ the same day according to the west-european calendar. In Finland this holiday also symbolizes the arrival of spring, though winter in this northern region doesn’t think to revise its stand yet.
Houses and holiday tables are decorated with early rye, homemade improvised flower bouquets as well as with the branches of willow, natural narcissuses, tulips and lilies from Europe. Easter eggs, rabbits and chickens are the indispensable attributes of this spring religious holiday.
Traditional Easter meals in Finland are painted and chocolate eggs and Easter rabbits, rye pudding “myammi”, dishes of lamb, Easter cake of cottage cheese and cream and other cakes.
The so-called “festival of witches” is usually held in Finland at Eastertide. Finns make bonfires in order to scare away evil spirits.
All comers can became the eye-witnesses of the main Easter event – the Religious procession with the image of the Passion. It usually passes through the center of the capital Helsinki on Saturday evening.
In spite of the homage of traditions and rituals, Easter has become more secular nowadays.
Midsummer Day in Finland
The longest day of the year – June, 24 - Midsummer Day is the favourite holiday in Finland, too. It is also known as St. John’s Day or “Yuhannus” in Finnish. This popular national holiday, “Summer Christmas” in a sense, is rooted in ancient folk origins.
Midsummer Day is celebrated all night long: according to the tradition, people have a lot of fun, make bonfires for banishment the evil spirits and tell fortunes. Young people look for their intended. Everyone has a rest close to nature, in cottages, in the countryside. People eat and drink a lot. Finns usually forget about everyday worries that day and visit the relatives in villages.
Summer celebrations in Finland
There are different mass celebrations during the short Finnish summer. The most famous ones are: Jazz Festival in Pori, Helsinki Festival, Savonlinna Opera, Festival of chamber music in Kuhmo, The Night of Arts, etc.
There are usually a lot of people on rock concerts, literary readings, national festivals, theater and circus shows, games and fireworks. The lovers of dance will have a good time dancing. Many interesting museums will acquaint the visitors with their exhibits. Every adult and child will get a lot of positive emotions, the energy of summer, sun, joy and fun for the whole year.