Finns celebrate 100 years of independence

2017-12-07 01:42:22 GMT2017-12-07 09:42:22(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

HELSINKI, Dec. 6 (Xinhua)-- The year of 2017 marks the centenary of Finnish independence and a massive series of celebrative events climaxed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The theme of the full-year celebration is "Together", which detonates that everyone - Finns and friends of Finns - is welcome to take part.

On Tuesday, or the eve of the independence day, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila invited more than 500 schoolchildren from all over the country to participate in a celebration party.

Later on, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto officially opened the celebration of Finland's 100th anniversary of independence at 6 pm at the south harbor market square in Helsinki, which was decorated by 100 national flags.

The main buildings and landmarks in the capital city started to be bathed in blue and white lights, including government buildings, Finlandia Hall, and Helsinki's main railway station.

All Finns are invited to share a coffee break in the afternoon in honor of the hundred-year-old Finland.

Wednesday's events began in the morning with a flag-raising ceremony on Helsinki's Tahtitorni Hill.

Meanwhile, the guard of honor of the Finnish Defense Forces mourned the people who died defending the country during wars at the major graveyard in Helsinki.

At noon, the main military parade began in Kuopio, eastern Finland. Around 1,200 soldiers and 50 vehicles, as well as 41 airplanes and helicopters took part in the parade.

Prime Minister's Office sent a text message to every Finnish mobile user, which read "Today Finland celebrates 100 years of independence - Happy Birthday everybody!"

The festivity culminated on Wednesday evening, when Niinisto and his wife welcomed Finnish and international guests at the presidential palace. Nearly 2,000 guests were invited to join the annual Independence Day reception.

The Tahtitorni Hill was crowded with thousands of people at 10 pm Wednesday when the fireworks were set off along the harbor. The viewers chanted in joy.

Also on Wednesday, dozens of landmarks around the world including the sculpture of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, the Time Square in New York, the Arch of Hadrian in central Athens, Brisbane's Story Bridge in Australia and the Holmenkollen winter sports centre in Norway, were illuminated in honor of Finland's 100th Independence Day.

The year of 2017 has been filled with all kinds of events showing respect to the Finnish traits such as social equality, administrative transparency as well as "Sisu", the special Finnish spirit of courage and endurance.

From the beginning of 2017, Finnish passports and ID cards have a new look with artworks portraying the landscape of Finnish Lapland, the Northern Lights, and snowflakes.

In mid-July, 789 naked swimmers hit the cold water of Linnunlahti Bay in Joensuu, eastern Finland, and sang the Finnish national anthem to celebrate the country's 100th birthday. They have broken the world record for the largest number of people swimming naked at one time.

Moreover, many Finnish products have been marked with the logo "Finland 100". The logo has been seen every where in Finland throughout the year.