The year 2017 marks Finland’s centennial. The theme of the year is “together”, and the special occasion will be celebrated together with all Finns, Finnish-Americans and friends of Finland around the U.S. Though many centennial events will take place around the actual Independence Day on December 6, many individuals and organizations are arranging events throughout the year.
Since 2006, when Finlandia Foundation National (FFN) created its Lecturer of the Year program, it has selected experts to visit FFN chapters to talk about a variety of topics. In recognition of the significance of the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence in 2017, Finlandia Foundation has expanded its Lecturer of the Year program in both duration and scope. From June 2016 through May 2018, Centenary Lecturers, accomplished scholars who are experts in different fields, will be are available to speak at FFN chapters about topics directly related to Finland’s national independence and identity.
In addition to the Centenary Lecturers program, Finlandia Foundation is supporting a Finland 100 Music Program featuring musicians from Finland and the U.S., including pop kantele artist Ida Elina, the multi-media Sibelius Inspiration featuring cellist Jussi Makkonen and pianist Nazig Azezian, soprano vocalist Marja Liisa Kay and pianists Laura Mikkola and Janne Mertanen. Additionally, FFN Performer of the Year Pirjo Polari-Khan and several former Performers of the Year are available for appearances hosted by FFN chapters. The programs and activities at the 52 FFN chapters in 25 states and Washington, D.C., will be listed on the Finland 100 calendar at FinlandiaFoundation.org.
The Traveling Sauna
One of the most exciting centennial projects is the centennial mascot, Traveling Sauna. The sauna will drive across the entire continent, traveling over 10,000 miles. The sauna starts its journey in Minnesota in January 2017, then makes its way to the West Coast, travels through the Mid-West and spends the fall driving down the East Coast. The journey will end in Washington, D.C., in the beginning of December.
More information about the Traveling Sauna: www.travelingsauna.com/
Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C.
The embassy is organizing centennial events with different themes almost every month during 2017.One of the biggest events of the year is a Finnish Midsummer event at the National Mall in June. There will be Finnish outdoor games, competitions for children, gymnastics performances, as well as a chance to meet Finnish and Finnish-American athletes. In the beginning of December, the embassy organizes another big outdoor event at the Dupont Circle. A Finnish male choir will perform Christmas songs, participants get to try Finnish specialties, and children have a chance to meet with the one and only real Santa Claus!
In addition to events, you can enjoy the centennial spirit throughout the year via the embassy’s social media channels. The embassy arranges two special centennial social media campaigns called “100 Friends of Finland” and “The Story of Finland”. “100 Friends of Finland” is a video campaign that includes 100 Finns, Finnish-Americans and friends of Finland sending greetings for Finland. “The Story of Finland” explores Finland’s history and how it connects to American history. The articles will be on monthly basis starting on January 6, 2017.
Like us on Facebook to follow news about the events and campaigns: Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C.
Other highlights of the year 2017
Enjoy the music and other cultural treats at the Midnight Sun Festival in Florida in May. There will be top performers from Finland as well as local bands, games and a wide variety of fabulous Finnish and local food. One of the highlights of the festival is a traditional Finnish Wife-Carrying Contest. More information: www.midnightsunfest.org/
During May, one of the largest free folk festivals in the country, the annual Northwest Folklife Festival celebrates the music, dance, stories, and art of the people of the Pacific Northwest. More information: www.nwfolklife.org/
Finnish-American organizations in New York, including the Consulate General in New York, will organize an all-day street festival in New York City in the end of September 2017.
The Centennial Calendar
We hope to include all centennial events across the U.S. on the Finland100USA webpage. To have your event included on the calendar, please send the following information to finland100USA@gmail.com
- Name of the event
- Date, time and place
- A short description of the event
- Link to the event website and picture of the event (if you have any)
More information about the centennial events in the U.S. including an events calendar: www.finland100usa.com/calendar.html
Finland’s centennial is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate Finnish culture with your local Finnish and Finnish-American community. There is no official event format, only the sky is the limit when you’re planning your own centennial event! Let’s celebrate the centennial of Finland throughout the whole year together!
More information about the centennial and event ideas: www.suomifinland100.fi/?lang=en
Compliment of the Consulate General of Finland – a member of the EACCNY