Åland’s Self-Government Day, 9 June

Åland Self-Government Day:
– A Journey through History

Join us on a journey through the history behind Åland Self-Government Day, a day that highlights the unique cultural and political identity of Åland’s residents. Its history stretches all the way back to the 1920s.

The day

Every year, on June 9, Åland Self-Government Day is celebrated, a day with deep historical roots from the 1920s. It marks the memory of the Åland County Council’s first meeting in 1922, which later became the Åland Legislative Council in 1993. But to truly understand the importance of this day, we need to shed light on the historical events that led up to it.

Åland’s Historical Background

The Åland Islands, located between Sweden and Finland, have always been an area of great cultural and strategic importance. After the First World War and Finland’s independence from Russia, a strong movement grew on Åland, called the Åland Movement. It advocated reunification with Sweden, given the region’s close ties to the country.

Tensions and Solutions

However, this movement created tensions between Finland and Sweden. With legitimate claims from both sides, it got complicated. This is where the League of Nations came into the picture. In 1921, through the Åland Agreement, they decided that Åland would be part of Finland, but with great autonomy. Finland had already granted Åland some autonomy in 1920, but this agreement strengthened it further and also ensured the region’s demilitarized status.

Modern Times and the Celebration

Today, Åland has a special position as a self-governing region within Finland, with Swedish as the official language and its own institutions. Åland Self-Government Day is not only a day to remember history, but also to celebrate the region’s unique identity. Residents gather all over Åland to celebrate, and especially in places like Jan Karlsgården and Kastelholm Castle, which carry a rich history. Kastelholmsnejden’s village team organizes a celebration here every year, filled with traditional activities such as singing, music and speeches. This is proof of Åland’s cultural heritage and the residents’ pride in their history.

Fact box: Åland Self-Government Day

📅 Date: 9 June every year

📜 Historical Significance: The celebration commemorates the first meeting of the Åland County Council in 1922, which became the Åland Legislative Council in 1993.

🌍 Geographical Location: The Åland Islands, located between Sweden and Finland.

🌱 The roots: The Åland movement in the 1920s pushed the issue of Åland’s reunification with Sweden.

🤝 International Decision: The Åland Agreement of 1921 by the League of Nations ensured Åland’s autonomy under Finland.

🏛 Celebrations: Mariehamn, Jan Karlsgården and Kastelholm Castle are popular places for celebrations, with traditional festivities organized by Kastelholmsnejden’s village association.

🎶 Traditions: Festivities include song, music, speeches and other cultural events to celebrate Åland’s cultural and historical heritage.

Parliament of Åland
The memorial stone in Finström 1990
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