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July 3, 2022

Finland marks Independence Day

Independence Day of Finland is celebrated today throughout the country. The Independence Day is a national public holiday that celebrates the declaration of independence from Soviet Russia. The movement for Independence started after the revolutions in Russia, caused by the disturbances from the defeats of the First World War. This gave an opportunity for Finland to withdraw from Russia. After several disagreements between the non-socialists and the social-democrats about the matter of who should have the power in Finland, the Senate of Finland, led by Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, finally gave on 4 December 1917 a Declaration of Independence which was adopted by the parliament two days later.
Each 6th of December is traditional for many Finnish families to light two candles in each window of their home in the evening. This custom dates to the 1920s, but even earlier, candles had been placed in windows on the birthday of poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg as a silent protest against perceived Russian oppression. A popular legend has it that two candles were used as a sign to inform young men on their way to Sweden and Germany to become jagers that the house was ready to offer shelter and keep them hidden from the Russians.

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