Lonely Planet Writer

Estonia is hosting a massive party to celebrate turning 100 this year

Estonia is to celebrate a very special anniversary this year. Festivities will take place across the world to mark the centenary anniversary of the independence of the country. The official programme of commemorations from ESTONIA 100 will feature a wide range of events that cover everything from heritage to design, music, and nature.

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Viru Street is a popular shopping street in the old town of Tallinn. The tower at the end marks the old city hall. Image by Domingo Leiva/Getty Images

Amongst these events is a new work by Rasmus Puur that will be performed at the Pärnu Concert Hall, which is based on nearly 2000 place names transformed into rhythm by poet Doris Kareva. Also, organisers are looking for a recipe for an Estonia 100 birthday cake that on 24 February will be on every Estonian’s table at home, as well as at the President’s reception! Aside from cultural and food extravaganzas, a game has also been created to encourage people to learn the Estonian language.

“Two of the most active celebratory periods are the Anniversary Week 19-25 February and the Great Summer Week 18-25 August,” said Maarja-Liisa Soe, Head of Programme.

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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Toompea Hill in Tallinn Image by Mauricio Abreu/Getty Images

Despite the ongoing celebrations, 24 February 2018 is the date that will officially mark one hundred years of independence. In fact, events will be running all the way until 2 February in 2020, the anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty.

“The centenary is celebrated around the world and the Estonia 100 international programme is Estonia’s greatest cultural export project so far,” Jaanus Rohumaa told Lonely Planet. “In addition to the domestic programme, the celebrations will bring around 200 events to 30 countries around the world, introducing Estonia and its culture globally. Undoubtedly one of the greatest events will be World Cleanup Day on September 15, 2018, which will be a gift from Estonians to the world.”

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View of Tartu from the sky. Image by Janar Kallas/EyeEm/Getty Images

President Kersti Kaljulaid’s centennial reception and concert will be held at the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. This is a significantly larger venue than Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn, where the events usually take place and it’s said that there could be up to 1500 guests in attendance.

Estonia’s capital Tallinn was named as one of the best value destinations in 2018 by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel. Half of the country is populated by forest and encompasses over 2000 islands. A full rundown of the many programmes can be found here.