Finland was under Russian control from 1809. The Finnish people managed to gain their independence during World War One, when the Russian Bolshevik revolutions gave Finland the opportunity to withdraw from Russia.
Today is a national holiday in Finland and all banks, post offices and shops will be closed.
The day is celebrated with a military parade in Helsinki and performances at the National Theatre. The Finnish flag is annually raised on Tähtitorninmäki in the country’s capital of Helsinki.
It is also traditional for Finnish families to light two candles in each window of their home during the evening of Independence Day.
This custom dates from before the 1920s, when candles were placed in the windows on the birthday of national Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, as a silent protest against perceived Russian oppression.
Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivä to all our Finnish readers!