Finland celebrates its 101st year of independence on this beautiful, sunny Thursday. 

In the morning at 09:00, the Helsinki Garrison with soldiers from various units held a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hietaniemi cemetery in Helsinki.

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At the same time, the traditional ceremony of the raising of the massive Finnish flag was held at Tähtitorninmäki in Helsinki’s Ullanlinna district next to the South Harbor.

At noon, members of parliament, ministers, former and current presidents and their spouses joined the ecumenical jubilee service at the Helsinki Cathedral.

As the day proceeds, Helsinki will see massive demonstrations by opposers of racism as well as marches by neo-Nazis and national-minded people.

The festivities will culminate in the Independence Day reception at the Presidential Palace, hosted by President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse Mrs Jenni Haukio.