This year Finnish nature is again celebrated in numerous events around the country. Observe the day by flying the Finnish flag, toasting to your favourite species, eating bilberry pie or going outdoors alone or with loved ones.
Long live the wonderful Finnish nature! Finnish Nature Day was first celebrated in August 2013. Finns have been fast to make the day of celebration their own, and it will be marked as an established flag-flying day in calendars starting from 2023. Finland is the first country in the world that has dedicated a flag-flying day to its nature.
The increasing popularity of the day and its fast establishment among Finnish days of celebration show that nature is important to Finns – worth celebrating and flying the flag for. New demographics also seem to have found the value of Finnish nature in the recent years during the coronavirus pandemic.
Toast to the perch, otter, Eurasian oystercatcher, lesser butterfly orchid – and your favourite species
This year, the celebration focuses especially on animals, plants and fungi that are important to Finns, as well as the unique diversity of Finnish nature.
To honour Finnish Nature Day, in August Finns of different ages have been asked to tell stories about their favourite species. The variety of species mentioned in the stories is incredible. In addition to our national species bear and whooper swan, the list of favourite species includes spiders, earth worms, bumblebees, old-growth trees, plants that have a special fragrance at night and migratory birds arriving in the spring, Many favourite species are associated with stories and memories of beautiful moments in nature and the loved ones those moments were shared with.
You can read and share stories at yle.fi/aihe/luonto. You can also share your favourite species on your own social media channels (#lempilaji #minfavoritart).
The protector of Finnish Nature Day has been from the beginning the spouse of the president of the Republic, Jenni Haukio. She says her favourite species is the Eurasian oystercatcher which looks exotic, is easy to recognise, and likes to spend time both in the archipelago and in cities.
The last week of August is full of outdoor trips and events
On Finnish Nature Day, you can participate in organised trips to local nature, hug trees, exercise outdoors, do forest yoga, volunteer or simply enjoy nature.
Suomen Latu – The Outdoor Association of Finland is challenging all Finns to sleep outside. Thousand-star hotels are ready for guests in Nurmijärvi and Kannonkoski. Seitseminen and Hiidenportti are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their national parks. Finnish Nature Centre Haltia organises a family-friendly nature photo festival, organic farms host open houses, and local branches of numerous organisations arrange campaigns, events and outdoor trips. Many schools and kindergartens celebrate nature as part of their teaching activities for the whole week. The celebration of Finnish Nature Day has started to expand throughout the whole last week of August.
Finnish Nature Day can be celebrated simply by going outdoors alone or with friends to enjoy a packed lunch and the atmosphere. For many Finns, this has been the most important way to celebrate Finnish Nature Day.
Heli Rekiranta, Finnish Nature Day coordinator, +358 407 544 664, heli.rekiranta(at)metsa.fi
Finnish Nature Day website (in Finnish and Swedish): https://www.suomenluonnonpaiva.fi/
Finnish Nature Day’s favourite species stories at: yle.fi/aihe/luonto (https://yle.fi/aihe/a/20-10002744)
Finnish Nature Day in a nutshell
- Finnish Nature Day is always celebrated on the last Saturday in August. It has been celebrated since 2013.
- Finnish Nature Day is the newest day of celebration. In 2020, it was entered in the University Almanac.
- The aim is to increase the appreciation for nature and strengthen Finns’ relationship with nature in our urbanising society.
- Open to all who want to celebrate Finnish nature, non-political, non-commercial.
- The Ministry of the Interior recommends flying the flag for Finnish nature. Flying the flag was recommended for the sixth year in a row in 2022. Finnish Nature Day will be an established flag-flying day from 2023.
- You can celebrate the Finnish flag in many ways: fly the flag in your yard, decorate your picnic lunch or food with small Finnish flags, or dress up in blue and white.
- The pastry to celebrate Finnish Nature Day is bilberry pie.
- The steering group coordinating Finnish Nature Day consist of Metsähallitus’ Parks & Wildlife Finland, Sitra, Outdoor Association of Finland, the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Finnish Association of Nature and Environment Schools, Guides and Scouts of Finland, Finnish Heart Association, Finnish Environment Institute and Yle Luonto.