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The 6th of February is the Saami National Day which is celebrated in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, the four countries where the indigenous Saami peoples live today. The Saami National Day has been celebrated since 1993. The date, February 6, was chosen to commemorate the first Saami congress which was held in Trondheim, Norway in 1917.

Today the Saami National Day is celebrated by raising the Saami flag with its bright colors of red, green, yellow and blue and the two circles which represent the sun and moon. In some countries the national flag of the country is raised alongside the Saami flag. While the flags are raised the song of the Saami peoples is sung in the regional Saami dialect.

Besides these formal ceremonies, many towns with a high Saami population have chosen to expand the celebrations by organizing events with a Saami theme in the days surrounding the Saami National Day. In some places the Saami celebrations last over a week with features such as concerts by Saami musicians, lectures, outdoor markets, art displays and Saami sports competitions. These events are an opportunity for the Saami peoples to come together and at the same time teach others about their culture and history.

Happy Saami National day to all Saami peoples!

Source: Arctic Council