Independence Day in Estonia

Independence Day is a holiday observed in Estonia on the 24th of February each year. This public holiday marks the anniversary of the declaration of the founding of the country in 1918. As is the case with most countries’ independence day celebrations, the festivities in Estonia often include parties, parades, concerts, and even fireworks displays.

Since it’s a public holiday, it’s also a day off for the general population, and many schools, businesses, and government offices are closed for the day. It’s a day for the people of Estonia to express pride in their country and celebrate their independence.

The History of Independence Day in Estonia

On February 24, 1918, Estonia declared its independence from Russia, and this declaration was soon followed by a war between Estonia and the Soviets. The conflict ended with the Tartu Peace Treaty on February 2, 1920—and it was this document that guaranteed Estonia’s independence.

Unfortunately, the Soviets broke the pact, and Estonia would fall under the control of the Soviets for the next five decades. In 1991, Estonian sovereignty was re-established, and the country has been an independent state ever since.

Interesting Facts About Estonia

Before we move on to how Independence Day in Estonia is celebrated, we thought we’d take a few moments to talk about some of the things that we’ve learned about this country. Let’s take a quick look before we move on.

  • Estonia has over 2,000 islands.
  • Residents of Tallinn can use the capital city’s public transport system for free. Visitors cannot.
  • Estonia has two UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Estonia has some of the cleanest air in the world.

Observing Independence Day in Estonia

Most Independence Day celebrations in Estonia begin with the raising of the Estonian flag on a hill in the capital city of Tallinn called Toompea. Estonian flags are also raised at courthouses in other towns across Estonia.

There are also numerous church services held on this day across the country, as well as a military parade through Freedom Square in Tallinn. In this city, there’s also an open-air concert as well as a reception for the President in the evening.

Where is it celebrated?
Estonia (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
February 24 Saturday
Next year (2025)
February 24 Monday
Last year (2023)
February 24 Friday