Victory Day in Estonia

Victory Day is a public holiday that’s observed in Estonia every June 23rd. Also known as Võidupüha, this holiday is a public holiday in the country, so it’s a day off for the general population, and most government offices and businesses are closed on this day.

This holiday has been celebrated since the 1930s and commemorates the victory of the Battle of Võnnu in 1919 when Estonia and its allies defeated German forces who were trying to exert control over the region. That battle, and ultimately the Estonian War of Independence, was won and this would directly result in the Treaty of Tartu.

The History Of Victory Day In Estonia

During the Estonian Liberation War of Independence, the Estonian government fought the Soviet Red Army and the Baltische Landeswehr who sought to establish a United Baltic Duchy.

Fighting began on June 19th and the combined force of the Kuperjanov Infantry Partisan Battalion, the 3rd Division, and the Latvian Northern Brigade held out for more reinforcements. On the 23rd of June, the combined contingent staged a counterattack which resulted in the recapture of the town of Cesis, resulting in an Estonia victory.

This victory was turned into a national holiday by the unicameral Parliament of Estonia on February 16, 1934. After the Soviet Union re-established its rule in Estonia, this holiday would be banned. It was also banned by German forces occupying Estonia during World War II. In 1992, the celebration of this holiday would start up again and it’s been celebrated ever since.

Observing Victory Day In Estonia

Military parades are often used on this day, with joint celebrations between the Estonian Defense Forces and Latvian National Armed Forces. There is also the traditional lighting of a fire by the President of Estonia.

State flags are also flown on this date and there are speeches given by political figures as well. The hashtag #Voidupuha or #EstonianVictoryDay can be used on social media when referring to this holiday on social media.

Where is it celebrated?
Estonia (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
June 23 Friday
Next year (2024)
June 23 Sunday
Last year (2022)
June 23 Thursday