Resistance Day in Estonia

Resistance Day, also known as Vastupanuvõitluse päev in Estonian, is a significant day in Estonia that commemorates the beginning of armed resistance against the Soviet occupation during World War II. Resistance Day is observed annually on September 22nd.


The origin of Resistance Day in Estonia dates back to September 22, 1944, when Estonian soldiers and freedom fighters initiated an armed resistance against the Soviet occupation. As the German forces were retreating from Estonia, the Estonian resistance movement, known as the Forest Brothers, saw an opportunity to fight for their independence from the Soviet Union. Key historical figures in this resistance movement include Estonian military leaders such as Paul Vent, Harald Nugiseks, and August Sabbe.

Despite the efforts of the Estonian resistance, the Soviet Union re-established control over the country and continued to occupy Estonia until it regained its independence in 1991. Today, Resistance Day serves as a reminder of the bravery and determination of the Estonian people in their fight for freedom and independence.


National customs for Resistance Day in Estonia

On Resistance Day, people across Estonia pay tribute to the brave men and women who fought against the Soviet occupation. Various events and ceremonies are held throughout the country to honor the memory of those who participated in the resistance movement. These events often involve speeches by political leaders, laying wreaths at memorials, and moments of silence to remember the fallen heroes.

Additionally, the Estonian flag is flown at full mast on public buildings and many private homes, symbolizing the nation's pride and appreciation for the sacrifices made by the resistance fighters.

Local customs for Resistance Day in Estonia

In some local communities, Resistance Day is marked with exhibitions, lectures, and discussions about the history of the Estonian resistance movement. Schools and educational institutions may organize special programs or activities for students to learn about the importance of Resistance Day and the history behind it.

In smaller towns and villages, local gatherings and commemorative events may be organized, often involving the participation of local choirs and musicians, as well as the sharing of personal stories and experiences from the resistance period.


Resistance Day in Estonia is an important day that honors the courage and determination of the Estonian people during their struggle for freedom and independence. It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the resistance fighters and the nation's ongoing commitment to preserving its history and values. Through various national and local customs, Estonians come together to commemorate this significant day and pay tribute to the heroes of the past.