Thursday, 27 January 2022

‘The equality of being a parent’: Finland officially recognizes Father’s Day

Finnish Father’s Day, the second Sunday in November, was this year for the first time an official day for hoisting the Finnish flag. Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, has been an official flag day since 1947.

As the national flag decree was amended last March, the then Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkanen said the change was a message from the state about the “equality of being a parent”.

According to Statistics Finland, for Father’s Day 2019, 57 percent of Finnish men, between 15 and 83, are fathers. They have on average 2.25 children. Currently the average age of becoming a father for the first time is slightly over 31 years.

Parental leave legislation has earmarked nine weeks off work per birth for the father only. But parents can freely split the rest of the official half a year parental leave.

In Finland fathers are eligible for parental per diem payment. It is adjusted to their taxed income and is currently on average 81 euros per day.

Besides Finland, Father’s Day falls on the second Sunday of November in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Estonia.

While Mother’s Day involves the awarding of state medals to “merited mothers”, Father’s Day lacks national observances.

In Helsinki, several institutions offered Father’s Day lectures. The Natural History Museum focusses on the role of “animal fathers” of various species.

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