Finland’s centenary is filled with joy and dignity
The centenary of Finland’s independence culminates in Finland’s Independence Day, on 6 December. The climax of the centenary is built together, and the programme will be rich and memorable. The official celebrations start on Independence Day Eve, on 5 December, and take place in Finland as well as abroad. Finland’s birthday week includes numerous acknowledgements to the 100-year-old.
The preparation for the birthday festivities is widely under way. Events are organised by state administration, municipalities, cities, associations, companies, and individual citizens. Independence Day will be surrounded by several festivities, both traditional and new ones, and the programme streches over several days.
“We have a special moment in the history of our country and we’ll celebrate it with joy and dignity. In this year, there’s a good reason to celebrate our Independence Day during several days. The official celebrations start already on the Independence Day Eve, 5 December. Moments that will be built together will bring new great tones with the strong Independence Day traditions,” says Pekka Timonen, General Secretary for the centenary.
Joyous preparty, emotional day of celebration
Independence Day celebration is preceded by Finland’s birthday week which contains various acknowledgements to the 100-year-old. During the birthday week, light art installation Luminous will shine a blue and white light around Finland, a Winter War Memorial will be revealed at Kasarmitori in Helsinki, and national Finland 100 celebration will take place in Oulu.
The Independence Day festivities begin already on Independence Day Eve, Tuesday 5 December. The Finnish Parliament will convene in a Jubilee Plenary Session, and the official opening of Finland’s centenary of independence takes place at the Helsinki Market Square at 6 pm. At the same time, Finland will hoist the Finnish flag and and blue and white lights will be lit in Helsinki and around Finland. The flagging continues overnight until Independence Day evening, Wednesday 6 December at 10 pm. The flag should be illuminated during the night.
Independence Day Eve, 5 December, is a joyous preparty. Libraries around Finland invite all citizens to take part in the Independence Day preparty, and karaoke restaurants challenge people to sing together at the same moment. Also, Children’s independence party and Multicultural Independence party will be arranged in Helsinki.
Independence Day, 6 December, will be filled with official festivities, and the graceful day ends with atmospheric moments in homes and halls. The day begins in most churches with services and choirs singing Sibelius’ Finlandia hymn at 10 am. Honorary guards will be organised in different cemeteries around Finland, and national Independence Day military parade takes place in Kuopio. University students’ procession, Independence Day Reception of the President of the Republic of Finland, and blue and white fireworks show will crown the evening of the historic day.
Serve coffee, hoist a flag, illuminate
The Finland 100 centenary year is unique in our country’s history, and all kinds of festivities in its honour are welcome. Take part in the celebration with these three national deeds.
Have a coffee break in honour of the 100-year-old. Work places, companies, and communities are encouraged to organise a blue and white coffee break for employees, customers, or friends on Independence Day Eve, Tuesday 5 December at 2 pm. If the afternoon coffee break doesn’t fit your schedule, you can arrange the coffee break at any other time on that day. The shared moment matters the most.
It’s time to fly the flag. Let’s dress up the 100-year-old with Finland 100 centenary flags and decorations before the birthday. On Independence Day Eve, Tuesday 5 December at 6 pm, the Finnish flag will be flown in every Finnish flagpole. The flagging continues overnight until Independence Day evening, 6 December at 10 pm. The flag should be illuminated during the night.
Let’s make the world blue and white. Finns are encouraged to lilluminate central and symbolic buildings and venues with blue and white light. You can also create your own blue and white lighting at work and at home. Blue and white lights will be lit on Independence Day Eve, Tuesday 5 December at 6 pm, and the lighting ends on Thursday morning, 7 December by 9 am. Traditionally, two candles will be lit on window sills on Indepedence day at 6 pm.
Examples of centenary celebration events
Programme info regarding the Finland’s Birthday week and Independence Day can be found from suomifinland100.fi/congratulations-to-the-100-year-old-finland/?lang=en. Additional infromation on regional programme is available from Finland 100 regional coordinators http://suomifinland100.fi/info/contact-details/?lang=en#regionalnetwork
Here you can see sample events of the Independence Day programme. Additional information is available on the Finland 100 event calendar, from project presentations and directly from event organisers. Changes to the programme are possible. The data has been reported by the programme projects themselves; Finland 100 is not responsible for their accuracy.
Finland’s birthday week programme
- Light installation Luminous creates blue and white light around Finland. Light installation is on show in Olavinlinna, Savonlinna 28–29.11., Näsinneula, Tampere 30.11.–1.12., Kuusisaari, Oulu 2–3.12., Kilpisjärvi, Saana fell 4–5.12., and in Turku castle, Turku 5–6.12.
- 11. The inauguration of the Winter War monument. Sculptor Pekka Kauhanen’s national monument will be unveiled in a ceremony at Kasarmitori, Helsinki.
- 12. National Finland 100 celeration in Oulu to celebrate the 100-year-old Finland.
- Finland 100 ice hockey matches around Finland 29.11.-5.12.
Independence Day Eve, 5 December
- Parliament’s centenary year climaxes into jubilee session at 12 pm.
- Libraries throughout Finland are inviting everyone to enjoy a pre-party on the day before the Independence Day.
- National Finland’s Independence Day celebration for children is organised at the House of the Estates in Helsinki and hosted by the Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.
- Two-day-long independence celebration takes place in Koli 5-6.12., in the Province of Northern Karelia.
- The official opening ceremony of the Independence Day celebrations at the Helsinki Market Square at 6 pm. At the same time, Finnish flags will be hoisted and blue and white lights will be lit. The flagging continues until Independence Day evening, Wednesday 6 December at 10 pm. The flag should be lit during the night. The blue and white lighting ends on Thursday morning, 7 December by 9 am.
- All karaoke bars in Finland are invited to take up the challenge and participate in an event to join in singing well-known, Finnish hit songs celebrating Finland. Karaoke pre-parties will start at 9 pm.
Independence Day, 6 December
- Several churches across Finland start their 10 am services by choirs singing Sibelius’ Finlandia. Helsinki Cathedral’s jubilee service takes place at 12 pm.
- At forenoon Honorary guards are formed on different cemeteries across Finland.Persons with the same age as the deceased will stand on graves of the servicemen and women who died in Finland’s wars. Honorary guards will be set up in Helsinki’s Hietaniemi cemetary, in Tampere, Oulu, Kuopio and Lappeenranta, among other places.
- The Defence Forces’ Independence Day parade in 2017 will take place in Kuopio at 1 pm.
- The Multicultural Independence Day celebration will be held at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki at 1:30 pm. Mrs. Jenni Haukio acts as the honoray guardian of the celebration.
- Lahti arranges jubilee celebration at 1 pm at Sibeliustalo in Lahti.
- Finland sjunger 100 år. Finlands svenska sång- och musikförbund (FSSMF) arranges sing-along events around Western Finland at 2 pm, where people sing in tune Finnish classic songs, such as, Vårt land, Suomis sång, Finlandia and Modersmålets sång in Swedish.
- Children’s Independence Day ball in Tampere from 2 pm to 5 pm.
- Espoo’s Independence Day concert at Metro-Areena from 2:30 pm to 4 pm. The event is open for everyone and free of charge.
- Vantaa’s Independence Day jubilee concert at Energia-Areena from 3 pm to 5 pm. The event is open for everyone and free of charge.
- Ajankulkue parade in Oulu at 4 pm. The parade tells the stories of 100-year-old Finland and Oulu.
- Independence Day celebration in Tampere at 5 pm.
- Students’ Independence Day parade in Helsinki.
- The Independence Day Reception of the President of the Republic.
- Around 10 pm Finland’s centenary of independence evening climaxes with a fireworks show in Helsinki and other Finnish cities.