Hi guys, it’s Lotta! As a Finn and as the Chair of the Finnish Society, I want to share with you how we celebrate the 14th of February the Finnish way!

Valentine’s Day? No, in Finland we celebrate Friendship Day!

The 14th of February might be a very depressing, stressful, and lonely time for those who are single, have lost their significant other or for some other reason don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Shops are lined with “I love you” and “Be my valentine” cards, and chocolate boxes are filled with some pink gooey, topped with hearts. If you want to have a dinner with your friends, restaurants have been booked up a month beforehand.

While the rest of the world interprets the 14th of February as a day for romance and love, Finns wanted to include friends and family too and started to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a Friendship Day. Don’t get me wrong, it is still filled with love, but different kind of love; Neighbours, family, friends, colleagues and of course sweethearts get flowers, chocolate, and cards.

In primary school we used to craft Friendship Day cards in class, but I vividly remember making them specifically to my friends and family and they were still filled with hearts and made with love. I might’ve slipped an anonymous card inside my crush’s school desk and pretend to be very surprised when he told us he got a card…

When I moved to England in 2019, me and my Finnish friends continued to celebrate the 14th of February in the Finnish way. We made sure to get friends and sweethearts together and first year of Uni we went bowling, second year during pandemic and lockdown we made a Friend’s Day brunch, and this year, we will make some Finnish buns filled with cream and jam (reminds you a bit of scones). On February the 15th we’ll bring Finnish society members together to our Finnish Food Tapas Night. This way we’ll include everyone to the celebration and make sure no one is left alone on Valentine’s ❤

If you don’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, remember, you can also celebrate Friendship Day!

Lotta xx
Chair of the Finnish Society