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Finnish Nature Day: A flag-flying day for nature

Finland is the first country in the world to have a dedicated festive day for nature. It is celebrated annually since 2013 on the last Saturday of August.

The Ministry of the Interior gave an order for a flag-flying day for nature for the first time in 2017, when Finland celebrated its 100 years of independence. Finns were fast to make the day of celebration their own, and in 2023 the Ministry of the Interior declared The Finnish Nature Day an official flag-flying day.

Furthermore, state organizations, including the Prime Minister’s Office have every year raised the flag for Finnish nature since 2017. State leaders like the President of the Republic always wishes Finnish citizens a Happy Nature Day.

Many ways to enjoy nature

The Finnish Nature Day is coordinated by a group of different national organizations including Parks & Wildlife Finland, Finnish Broadcasting Company, The Future Fund Sitra, Finnish Scouts, Finnish Heart Foundation, Federation of Nature Schools, The Finnish Outdoor Association, The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and the Finnish Environmental Institute.

However, the most important thing is that no strict rules apply to the ways people can celebrate Finnish Nature. Everyone can celebrate and enjoy nature in their own way and from their own perspective. 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. 

Special events are also being organized. One of the most popular ones are the Forest Hotels organized by The Finnish Outdoor Association. The organization also encourages people to sleep outside that night, for instance in a tent, in their backyard or on the verandah of their cottage.

The popularity of the day is also reflected in social media channels, where you see how widely citizens, companies and organizations are joining in to celebrate Finnish nature.

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 from one day to a chain of events throughout the whole last week of August. 

Yummy – bilberry pie

Many festive days in Finland have their own dedicated dessert. It was easy to choose one for The Finnish Nature Day: bilberry pie (or known as blueberry pie in Northern America). It is the summer’s most popular delicacy, and also symbolizes the wild foraging opportunities that Finnish forests offer.