Finland marks Culture Day in honour of national epic

HELSINKI (Xinhua) – The annual remembrance day of the Finnish national epic Kalevala, also known as Finnish Culture Day, was observed in the country on Friday.

Kalevala was published in 1849 and is based on collection of folklore tales and poems by Elias Lonnrot, a philologist. Kalevala is deeply rooted in the minds of the Finns and well-known among not only Nordic countries but also other parts of Europe.

As a way to mark the event, the Finnish Literature Society on Friday published the Internet-based ‘Open Kalevala’, which makes possible cross-reading of texts with researcher comments and the original sources collected by Lonnrot.

Various other activities were also held in Finland to observe the day, among which a cultural seminar organised by artists and enthusiasts drew many people to the Helsi Central Library Oodi on Friday. Audience shared their views on the epic as well as sang songs and recited poems from it.

When Kalevala was published, Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy under Tsarist Russia. It actually helped Finland establish its independent culture and national identity.