Birthday of Johan Ludvig Runeberg in Finland Date in the current year: February 5, 2016

Birthday of Johan Ludvig Runeberg in Finland On February 5, the Finns celebrate the birthday of Johan Ludvig Runeberg, their national poet. It is not an official flag day in Finland, but the state flag is still traditionally flown on this occasion.

Johan Ludvig Runeberg was born on February 5, 1804. He wrote his creations in Swedish because the Finnish language was used almost exclusively in religious contexts at the time. His greatest work is The Tales of Ensign Stål, an epic poem, describing the events on the Finnish War. Along with The Kalevala, it belongs to the most significant Finnish epic poems.

The prologue to the poem, Our Land (Vårt land in Swedish or Maamme in Finnish), became Finland's national anthem. The music was composed by Fredrik Pacius, and the translation of the lyrics was made by Paavo Cajander.

On Runeberg's birthday, people traditionally eat Runeberg torte. It is believed to have been created by Runeberg's wife Fredrika. According to legend, the poet enjoyed it every morning for breakfast. Runeberg torte is a small pastry flavored with almonds and liquor (rum or arrack). It is usually topped with a dollop of raspberry jam in a sugar ring. The torte usually appears in stores in early January and is available until Runeberg's birthday.

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