Finnish Literature Day Date in the current year: October 10, 2016

Finnish Literature Day Finnish Literature Day is celebrated on October 10 each year. The date was chosen because it was the anniversary of the birth of Alexis Kivi, one of the greatest Finnish writers of all times. He was a prolific playwright, but is most remembered for his novel Seven Brothers.

Alexis Kivi was born on October 10, 1834. While studying literature at the University of Helsinki, he got acquainted with the famous journalist, philosopher and statesman Johan Vilhelm Snellman. Kivi became interested in theater and wrote his first play, Kullervo. It was based on a tragic story from the Finnish epic Kalevala.

Although Kivi created twelve plays and a collection of poetry, his most significant work is his first and only novel Seven Brothers (Seitsemän veljestä) considered the first major novel in the Finnish language. It took Kivi almost ten years to complete the work.

Seven Brothers was published in 1870. This event marked the end of an era dominated by authors who wrote in Swedish and created a basis for a new generation of Finnish authors. Alexis Kivi and his successors such as Juhani Aho and Minna Canth focused on depicting ordinary people in a realistic way.

Finnish Literature Day is not an official flag day, but Finns are encouraged to fly the national flag on the occasion.

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