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Welcome to Christmas Theme Week: Happy Independence Day

Dear reader,

First things first, we want to welcome you to celebrate not only the beginning of our incredible Christmas Theme Week but also Finland’s Independence Day. During the week, we’re going to go through the best Christmas movies, the worst Christmas sweaters, the most incredible Christmas reads, and so on. Spending the whole week anticipating Christmas, celebrating independence is a great way to start. Happy 104th birthday, Finland!

When explaining our friends abroad the traditional way of celebrating the independence of our country every December 6th, the most accurate and general response is: “Wow, okay, what?” When every other country tends to actually celebrate with parties and fireworks, the Finnish tradition is to watch the 1955 edition of the movie The Unknown Soldier based on Väinö Linna’s classic piece of literature. Then we’re up for sauna and later on, it’s time to watch the Independence Day Reception streamed on live TV, where the president and their spouse shake hands with every single guest and host a party. Yes, this is what we do. Watching people shake hands in fancy dresses and suits for hours. Unfortunately, due to Covid, the actual reception is cancelled but we’re still going to witness a reception of a sort in the Presidential Palace with live performances, et cetera.

In other words, when we celebrate, we melancholically honour our independence and the freedom that comes with it despite of Covid. Put on Sibelius’s Finlandia and enjoy your time during the cold winter and get ready for Christmas. Have a great week!

Helsinki Contributor
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