Finlandia Hall is illuminated in colors of blue and white to honor the centenary of Finland’s independence in Helsinki, Finland on December 4, 2017. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The official celebrations for the centenary of Finland’s independence begin today. In addition to the many buildings that will be illuminated in the colors of the flag, almost 30 countries — including Brazil, Australia and Russia — have decided to congratulate the 100-year-old Finland with blue-and-white light shows as well during the week.

The official opening ceremony kicks off at the Market Square in Helsinki with an installation of one hundred flags of Finland. The flags will be hoisted by children and young people. The ceremony will begin at 18:00. It is opened by President Sauli Niinistö and is attended by Speaker of the Parliament Maria Lohela and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.

One of the buildings that will be illuminated in the centenary colors is the Olympic tower, a short walk or tram ride away from the city center. In addition, a fire will be lit in a bowl next to the statue of Paavo Nurmi. The bowl is a copy of the one used in the Olympics of Helsinki 1952. The fire is lit at 17:00 and will burn until 19:00.


At 21:30, there will be centenary fireworks arranged by Eckerö Line. The best places to watch are the shores of Hernesaari, Eira and Kaivopuisto.

On Wednesday, the day of the independence, people will gather in front of their TV sets and tune into the direct broadcast from the Independence Day Reception at the Presidential Palace to watch the hosts of the evening, President Niinistö and his spouse, Jenni Haukio, receive about 1,900 guests, including legends and young talents from culture, sport, economics and politics.

The Finland 100 jubilee year will culminate at 22:00, when there will be fireworks as a celebration over Helsinki’s South Harbour. The best place to watch is at Tähtitorninmäki where one can also listen to the accompanying music.

In addition, there are many side events and protests happening on the Independence Day. Finland Today will bring you the highlights of the centenary celebrations.

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