Sámi National Day – February 6, 2020
Sámi National Day February 6, 2020
February is one of my favorite times of year. Yes, yes we all know that Valentine’s Day is around the corner but did you know that the month of February is host to Sámi National Day?
In honor of Sámi National Day I always teach Sámi Inspired Bracelet classes at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN. This is a great way to share and inform my students about the history of the Sámi people and the challenges they have faced culturally, politically and economically.
The Sámi are the indigenous “reindeer” people of Scandinavia and can be from Norway, Sweden, inland and parts of Russia.
The Sámi national holiday is a relatively new day of celebration Norway adopted in 1992. Historically the Sámi people were forced to integrate more with the general population of Norway. Laws that were implemented even forbid the Sámi to speak their own language.
Today Sámi National day is celebrated all over the country. The Sámi flag is raised, the national anthem is sung and reindeer meat and fish dishes are prepared as celebratory food. You can bet reindeer racing is part of the festivities!
The Sámi flag is the most important symbol for the national day. The red section of the circle represents the sun and the blue section represents the moon. The circle design was inspired by a Sámi poem describing the people as sons and daughters of the sun.
How will you celebrate Sámi National Day? Giitu (Sámi for thank you) for reading!