Kalevala Day (Finnish Culture Day) in Finland Date in the current year: February 28, 2016

Kalevala Day (Finnish Culture Day) in Finland February 28 is one of the Finland's official flag days. It is known as the Kalevala Day or the Finnish Culture Day.

The Kalevala is the national epic of Finland and Karelia as well as one of the most important works of Finnish literature. It was compiled by poetry collector and philologist Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian mythology and oral folklore.

Lönnrot began to collect folk poetry and songs in 1828, but the real work began in the early 1830s. His goal was to preserve traditional Finnish poetry that existed only in the oral tradition and began to disappear due to the growing popularity of European rhymed poetry. He published the first version of his compilation in 1835.

The Kalevala made a significant contribution to the development of the Finnish national identity and the intensification of Finland's language strife. This processes in the Finnish society eventually led to the adoption of the Finnish declaration of independence in 1917.

Lönnrot published the first version of The Kalevala on February 28, 1835. The anniversary of this event was declared an official day for celebrating Finnish culture and heritage throughout the country. On the day, the Finnish flag must be flown from all public buildings from 8 AM to sunset.

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Kalevala Day, Finnish Culture Day, Elias Lönnrot, flag day, cultural observance