Joyful preparties kickstart Finland 100 celebrations
The centenary of Finland’s independence culminates in Finland’s Independence Day, 6 December. The celebrations started on Independence Day Eve, when preparties and various events were organised, and blue and white lights were lit to celebrate the 100-year-old Finland.
Over 500 schoolchildren celebrated Finland’s centenary at a reception hosted by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. Two ten-year-old children from each municipality in Finland were invited to the event in Helsinki. The celebration was organised by Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, the Ombudsman for Children, and the Finland 100 organisation of the Prime Minister’s Office.
The official opening of the centenary of Finland’s independence was held at the Market Square in Helsinki. An installation of one hundred Finnish flags was created in the square when children and young people hoisted the flags. The flag-hoisting ceremony was also attended by the President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, Speaker of the Parliament, Maria Lohela, and Prime Minister, Juha Sipilä.
Libraries throughout Finland invited everyone to take part in preparties on the eve of Independence Day. The preparties provided glimpses into the literature, history and culture of Finland. All in all, 179 libraries took part. Helsinki’s ice hockey team IFK celebrated its 120th anniversary with a match against Oulu’s Kärpät. The match was played in an outdoor ice arena in Kaisaniemi, Helsinki. At the end of the evening, karaoke bars in Finland invited people to join in singing two well-known, old hit songs celebrating Finland and being a Finn: Sininen ja valkoinen (Blue and White) and Olen suomalainen (I’m a Finn).
See photos of the Independence Day Eve.