Public Holidays in Finland in 2024

Introduction

Finland, a Nordic country in Northern Europe, observes several public holidays throughout the year. These holidays hold cultural, historical, and religious significance for the Finnish people. In 2024, Finland will celebrate a variety of holidays, each with its own traditions and customs.

National Holidays

New Year’s Day – January 1st

New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. In Finland, it is celebrated with gatherings, parties, and festive events. It is a time for reflection on the past year and anticipation for the year ahead. Many Finns attend church services or engage in traditional rituals to mark the occasion and welcome the new year with hope and optimism.

Epiphany (Loppiainen) – January 6th

Epiphany, known as Loppiainen in Finland, is a Christian holiday that commemorates the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. It is celebrated with church services, religious processions, and traditional customs. In Finland, Epiphany is also associated with the end of the Christmas season, and many people take down their holiday decorations on this day.

Good Friday (Pitkäperjantai) – Date varies (Christian calendar)

Good Friday is observed by Christians worldwide as the day of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death. In Finland, it is a solemn and reflective day. Many Finns attend church services and participate in religious processions and rituals to mark the occasion. Good Friday is a public holiday in Finland, providing an opportunity for people to observe the religious significance of the day.

Easter Sunday (Pääsiäispäivä) – Date varies (Christian calendar)

Easter Sunday is the most important and joyous day in the Christian liturgical calendar. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In Finland, Easter Sunday is celebrated with church services, festive meals, and the exchange of Easter eggs and other treats. Families often gather for Easter brunch or dinner to celebrate the holiday together.

May Day (Vappu) – May 1st

May Day, also known as Vappu, is a traditional spring festival celebrated in Finland and other Nordic countries. It is a day to welcome the arrival of spring and to honor labor and workers’ rights. May Day festivities in Finland include outdoor picnics, parades, concerts, and other public events. People wear colorful hats and streamers, and students often wear their graduation caps as a symbol of the coming summer break.

Ascension Day (Helatorstai) – Date varies (Christian calendar)

Ascension Day commemorates the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, according to Christian belief. It is celebrated 40 days after Easter Sunday. In Finland, Ascension Day is a public holiday that is observed with church services and religious processions. Many Finns also take advantage of the long weekend to spend time with family and friends or to engage in outdoor activities.

Midsummer Day (Juhannus) – Date varies

Midsummer Day, known as Juhannus in Finland, is one of the most important holidays in the Finnish calendar. It celebrates the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and is associated with ancient pagan customs and rituals. Juhannus is celebrated with bonfires, traditional dances, and gatherings at lakeside cottages or summer houses. It is a time for people to relax, enjoy nature, and celebrate the beauty of the Finnish summer.

All Saints’ Day (Pyhäinpäivä) – November 2nd

All Saints’ Day is a Christian holiday that honors all the saints and martyrs, known and unknown. In Finland, it is a day to remember and pray for deceased loved ones. Many Finns visit cemeteries to clean and decorate the graves of their relatives and to light candles in their memory. Churches also hold special services to commemorate the occasion.

Independence Day (Itsenäisyyspäivä) – December 6th

Independence Day commemorates Finland’s declaration of independence from Russia in 1917. It is one of the most significant national holidays in Finland, celebrated with patriotic fervor and pride. The day typically features official ceremonies, flag-raising ceremonies, parades, and cultural events. It is a time to honor the nation’s history, achievements, and contributions to the world.

Christmas Day (Joulupäivä) – December 25th

Christmas Day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and is one of the most important Christian holidays worldwide. In Finland, it is a time for religious observance, family gatherings, and festive celebrations. People decorate their homes with Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments, and exchange gifts with loved ones. Churches hold special services, including Midnight Mass, to mark the occasion.

Boxing Day (Tapaninpäivä) – December 26th

Boxing Day, also known as the Second Day of Christmas, is observed in several countries, including Finland. It is a day for relaxation and spending time with family and friends after the busy festivities of Christmas Day. Many Finns continue to celebrate the holiday with additional gatherings, meals, and activities.

Table of Public Holidays and Days Off

Holiday Date Days Off Groups
New Year’s Day January 1 1 All
Epiphany (Loppiainen) January 6 1 All (especially Christians)
Good Friday (Pitkäperjantai) Variable 1 Christians
Easter Sunday (Pääsiäispäivä) Variable 1 All (especially Christians)
May Day (Vappu) May 1 1 All
Ascension Day (Helatorstai) Variable 1 Christians
Midsummer Day (Juhannus) Variable 1 All
All Saints’ Day (Pyhäinpäivä) November 2 1 All
Independence Day December 6 1 All
Christmas Day (Joulupäivä) December 25 1 All (especially Christians)
Boxing Day (Tapaninpäivä) December 26 1 All

 

2024 Public Holidays in Finland
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