Experience

Finnish Valentine’s Day

With the 14th of February approaching, here is a short blog post about the significance of the day for Finns: Friendship Day.

Friendship Day

Well, first of all, Finns celebrate Friendship day (Ystävänpäivä) on the 14th, not Valentine’s day. This means that the day is not limited to romantic partners.

This is usually an excellent occasion to celebrate one’s friendship with relatives, colleagues, neighbors, and also, romantic partners. Whether it’s by giving a card, flowers, or chocolates, Friendship day is a great occasion to celebrate the people who contribute positively to our life.

Some happy Finns. Source

A Finland-Wide Celebration

Ystävänpäivä is a big event in Finland. In 2015, more than 3 millions cards were sent (Finland has a population of around 5,5 millions). Posti, the national postal service, usually has to employ around 150 additional workers to cope with the demand in mid-February.

Recent History

This lovely tradition is not so old, however. According to Finland.fi, Ystävänpäivä started being celebrated in 1980. Only in 1996 was it included in Finnish calendars. Nevertheless, it is now a very popular celebration in Finland.

To conclude this, I wish you all a very happy friendship day, full of happiness and chocolate!

Living in Finland for more than three years, Michel is a Canadian student who is now completing his master’s degree in ÅAU. His interests are quite diversified and include ice hockey, history, fishing, as well as many other things. He is also a member of the student ambassador network of South-West Finland.