• The centenary year of Finnish independence will be celebrated throughout 2017 also in Helsinki. (c) Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki

Finland 100 centenary events in Helsinki

The centenary year of Finnish independence will be celebrated throughout 2017 with a comprehensive and diverse programme of events. 

The theme of the centenary year is “Together”, and the programme is open to all Finns and friends of Finland.

Events marking the centenary of Finnish independence will be held throughout the year:

New Year’s Eve celebrations – into the new century!
The centenary year of Finnish independence kicks off on New Year’s Eve, 31 December 2016, in the heart of the republic in Töölönlahti, Helsinki, and broadcast live nationwide by YLE. The New Year’s Eve programme offers fun surprises for visitors of all ages. The events begin already in the afternoon and culminate at midnight with a celebration in which all Finns and friends of Finland are invited to sing and dance their way into a new century.

Lux Helsinki in January
Light festival Lux Helsinki lights up the nation’s capital during the darkest time of the year. Brilliant light installations will be projected onto famous buildings from 5-9 January 2017. This winter city festival is free of charge and suitable for the whole family.

Epiphany concert of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
The traditional Epiphany concert by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra features classic songs from Finnish films – with love and about love. Marking the start of the centenary of Finnish independence, the “Love Beneath the Weeping Birch” concert will be held at the Helsinki Music Centre at 3pm on 6 January 2017.

Modern life! exhibition at HAM
The Helsinki Art Museum HAM is celebrating Finland’s centenary year in 2017 with a major exhibition presenting Finnish modernism in an international context. The “Modern Life!” exhibition combines architecture, design, photography and visual arts to describe the impact of diverse modernism on everyday life and arts in Finland. The exhibition opens on 3 March and will run until 30 July 2017.

ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017
One of the biggest sporting events of Finland’s centenary year will be the World Figure Skating Championships, which takes place in Helsinki from 29 March to 2 April 2017. Come watch the best figure skaters in the world compete against each other at Hartwall Arena.

Eliel Saarinen exhibition at Laituri
Laituri, the Helsinki City Planning Department's information and exhibition space, will present an exhibition on the legacy of legendary architect Eliel Saarinen as a builder of Finland and a pioneer in city planning in Helsinki. The exhibition “Helsinki Has Become a Metropolis!” opens at Laituri on 1 June and runs until 30 September 2017. 

Finland 100 – Everyone Sing on 12 June! 
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra will celebrate Helsinki Day by playing music that everyone can sing along with. The “Everyone Sing” concert will be held at the Helsinki Music Centre and broadcast live nationwide.

Helsinki Day on 12 June
The Finnish capital celebrates its birthday on 12 June with over a hundred free-of-charge Helsinki Day events throughout the city.

Finnish Forest at Helsinki Zoo
Helsinki Zoo will present the diversity of Finnish nature at its new 3-hectare “Finnish Forest” area on the southern end on the island of Korkeasaari. The rocky pine forest there is typical of the archipelago and will feature all of Finland’s large carnivores with the exception of wolves, as well as many endangered small mammals and birds. The area will open to the public in spring 2017. 

The world’s largest village festival
A hundred days before Finland’s 100th birthday, from 25 to 27 August 2017, all of Finland will get to eat together at the world’s largest village festival. Hundreds of actors in the food sector throughout Finland are organising special village festivals to be held in national parks, in the open air, in garrisons, in schools and in restaurants. The “Let’s Eat Together” event aims to promote a culture of eating together and sharing – an opportunity to find new, enduring ways to enjoy our unique food culture and have meals together.

Bridge – Greetings from Two Republics exhibition at Virka Gallery  
Virka Gallery at City Hall will mark a hundred years of independence for both Finland and Estonia with the exhibition “Bridge – Greetings from Two Republics”. The exhibition will present correspondence between ordinary Finns and Estonians, as well as their cultures of independence, through art and history. The exhibition opens on 13 October 2017. 

Helsinki Baltic Herring Market
The oldest traditional event in Helsinki takes place on the first Sunday of October, when the Herring Market brings fishermen and an archipelago atmosphere to the Market Square and South Harbour.

The Land of Kalevala ballet spectacle 
The Finnish National Opera and Ballet will mark the Finland 100 celebrations together with a blockbuster production focusing on Finland’s history – and future. The Land of Kalevala ballet spectacle by Kenneth Greve touches on milestone moments in Finnish history and culture with a bold combination of various art forms. The ballet will be premiered on 3 November 2017.