Finland Independence Day
Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää to my Finnish readers! ("Happy Independence Day" in Finnish).
Finland is celebrating its 88th Independence Day tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6th. It is a national holiday, an official flag-raising day, and in every home, two candles are normally lit to honor the day. Festivities in Helsinki begin with raising the flag, a festive divine service at the Cathedral of Helsinki, where by tradition, the President is also present. In the evening the President receives guests for the gala occasion which is held at the President's Palace in Helsinki. Approximately 2000 people are invited to this banquet every year, and war veterans attend as the guests of honour. The event is broadcast on television, and although it is a very popular happening which collects millions of Finns in front of the TV every year, it also keeps the police busy due to demonstrators gathering in front of the President's Palace. (from finnguide)
If you are interested in learning more about this holiday, see my last year's post.
UPDATE Dec.6th, 2005: Here's how Finland celebrated.