It is often said that if you want to really celebrate a festival, take the example of the Finnish. Tradition, culture and enjoyment - these three keywords are the main essence of their lifestyle and very well portrayed in their day-to-day living. Finnish people are very much rooted to their culture and one should really learn from them, as to how to give meaning to a celebration. It is their views, their opinions that enable them to transform a mere occasion into a mega-event. And Valentine’s Day celebration in the country can be cited as the best example of the same. The festival has a special significance in the minds of the natives and as such, is celebrated with pomp and glory. Though the introduction of Valentine’s Day in this part of the world is quite recent, its celebrations are quite enthusiastic. Read on to get a brief idea about the history and evolution of Valentine’s Day in Finland, along with the traditions observed there.
Valentine’s Day Celebrations in Finland
It was in the later part of the 20th century, roughly around 1980, that Valentine’s Day established its roots in Finland. It was actually the assimilation of the traditional Finnish Friendship Day and therefore called "Ystävänpäivä", which means "Friend's Day" in the local dialect. In the country, the day is celebrated by lovers as well as friends and there is a general atmosphere of enjoyment and merry-making in the air. This is the day when friends send well wishes and cards to one another. At the same time, it is a very popular day to get engaged or married to one’s partner.
On Valentine’s Day, one can often hear campaigners trying to promote and educate the masses on concepts like health, charity and education. Such campaigns are usually held by the Finnish post office and special stamps are also issued. Apart from this, involvement and participation of children is very important during the festival. They bring a different flavor to any occasion and so the same is the case with this day. Sending cards and beautiful gifts is customary during this occasion and this can be for anyone - friends, family or lovers. Valentine’s Day has also opened the doors for gift companies, leading to the increased commercialization of the festival.
On Valentine’s Day, social gatherings are arranged all over and the younger generation gets the opportunity to party to the fullest. These parties are either held at homes or organized as get-together in clubs and party halls. They usually involve rounds of wines and cocktails, along with the traditional Finnish cuisines and desserts. Every person is dressed to the occasion, with girls especially dressing in a very elaborate manner, in a bid to impress their partners. Gifts like chocolates, flowers and cards are given and people even try to pamper their sweetheart with candlelight dinners, dance and romantic music.