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Finland celebrates 100 years of independence: 30 countries to illuminate landmark sites

by Sharron Livingston
Finish flag

Anyone milling around the Adelaide Town Hall in Australia, or the Niagra Falls in Canada, or Lumivaara Church in Russia and even The Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Newcastle in the UK on December 6 2017, will all witness the illuminations that celebrate Finland’s 100 years of independence from the Russian Empire.

The hard fought independence was at best shaky at the time. Even Lenin (the man behind the 1917 Russian Revolution), who was the first world leader to recognise the new state believed that Finland would end up becoming part of the Soviet Union.

Sure there was a Bolshevik revolution and a civil war, but somehow the newly autonomous country, much loved by holiday-makers for its snowy festive adventures in Lapland and the Northern Lights, made it through.

One hundred years later and the world is celebrating. There will be blue-and-white light shows across Finland but also elsewhere in the world.

Pekka Timonen, General Secretary of the Centenary of Finland’s Independence, Prime Minister’s Office said:

Finland has received numerous accolades and gifts from around the world this year. Now, the world will turn blue and white for a short time. This is a great moment for Finns and friends of Finland.

Some 30 countries will be commemorating by illuminating landmark sites with the blue and white Finish flag.

Here is where you can see it:

Country, city Site to be illuminated
Argentina, Buenos AiresThe Usina del Arte cultural centre
Australia, AdelaideAdelaide Town Hall
Australia, BrisbaneStory Bridge and Victoria Bridge
Australia, CanberraTelstra Tower, the Old Parliament House, Malcolm Fraser Bridge, Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre(Parkes)
Australia, HobartRailway Roundabout Fountain, Elizabeth Street Mall and the Kennedy Lane Tourism Precinct
Australia, PerthThe Council House building and Trafalgar Bridge
Austria, ViennaThe Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel
Brazil, Rio de JaneiroThe Christ the Redeemer statue
Bulgaria, SofiaThe National Palace of Culture
CanadaNiagara Falls
Cyprus, NicosiaThe White Walls building
Czech Republic, PragueThe Dancing House designed by Frank Gehry
Estonia, TallinnStenbock House (The seat of the Government)
Estonia, TartuThe Vanemuine Theatre, Võidu sild Bridge, Kaarsild Bridge
Ethiopia, Addis AbabaLion of Judah monument in front of the Ethiopian National Theatre
Greece, AthensThe Arch of Hadrian
Hungary, BudapestElizabeth Bridge
Iceland, ReykjavikHarpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre
Ireland, DublinMansion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin
Italy, RomeThe Colosseum
Kazakhstan, AstanaThe bridges across the Ishim River, St. Regis hotel
Latvia, JelgavaRailway Bridge
Latvia, RigaThe Tower of the Town Hall in the Old Town
Mexico, Mexico CityThe Angel of Independence monument
Mozambique, MaputoMaputo Fortress
Netherlands, AlkmaarStadskantine Alkmaar
Norway, OsloHolmenkollen ski jumping hill
Poland, WarsawThe Palace of Culture and Science
Portugal, LisbonBelém Tower (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Russia, LumivaaraLumivaara Church
Serbia, BelgradeAda Bridge, Palace Albania
Sweden, StockholmThe Mannerheim memorial
United Kingdom, NewcastleThe Gateshead Millennium Bridge

Read next: When is the best time to visit Helsinki, Finland


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