Finland is 100 today

By | Category: Travel destinations
Helsinki cathedral

the cathedral and a view of Helsinki where celebrations will be wll under way today

Today Finland enjoys its independence day. But this year it is something special. Finland celebrates 100 years of independence.

Throughout the week, Finland will be celebrating with blue-and-white (the colours on the Finnish flag) light shows across the country and in almost 30 countries around the world.

Fifty iconic venues and buildings across the globe will be illuminated with blue and white lights in honour of Finland’s centenary of independence and, overall, there are more than 5,000 projects in 100 countries on all continents that will join the celebration. In the United Kingdom, Newcastle’s Gateshead Millennium Bridge will be illuminated as will be the Mansion House in Dublin. They will join other buildings such as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Niagara Falls in Canada, the Old Parliament Building in the Australian capital of Canberra and the Colosseum in Rome.

For much of the last thousand years, what we know as modern Finland has been either part of Sweden or the Russian empire. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Finland became independent, firstly as a monarchy for a very short space of time and then as a republic.

Britons make up the fourth largest contingent of visitors to Finland and, in the latest figures, have spent about 340,000 bed nights this year. Over half of those nights are spent in the capital city, Helsinki but just over a quarter are spent in Lapland in the north of the country. Many local tour operators and airports in the UK and Ireland arrange Christmas flights to Lapland at this time of year to see the home of Father Christmas but people also travel there to see the northern lights.

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