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Estonia's centennial week to include events across country

Stenbock House, the seat of the Estonian government, lit up with the official Estonia 100 logo.
Stenbock House, the seat of the Estonian government, lit up with the official Estonia 100 logo. Source: (Kaupo Kalda/Estonia 100)

While President Kersti Kaljulaid's official Independence Day reception will take place at the Estonian National Museum (ERM) in Tartu, plans are being made for other events during the week leading up to Estonia's centennial to take place in other parts of the country as well.

Preparations for Estonia's 100th birthday have long since been underway, and certain plans for the week leading up to Independence Day are starting to fall into place.

For example, while the president's official reception and concert will take place in Tartu, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) is to present recipients with this year's national cultural and reserach awards at a ceremony at Haapsalu's Läänemaa Joint High School in Western Estonia. State decorations, meanwhile, will be presented to this year's recipients thereof at a ceremony titled "Estonia Thanks" to take place at the University of Tartu Narva College in Northeastern Estonia.

The official Independence Day church service will take place in Paide, Central Estonia, while the Estonian Declaration of Independence, also known as the "Manifesto to the Peoples of Estonia," will be read in Pärnu on Feb. 23, just as it was 100 years ago.

The traditional hoisting of the flag at sunrise and Independence Day parade, however, will take place in the capital city of Tallinn this year.

Tartu plans still in the works

Plans for the events to be held in Tartu are in the process of being shaped and could yet see some changes before being finalized ahead of Feb. 24.

While the original assumption was that Kaljulaid would deliver her traditional Independence Day address at ERM, where the evening's reception will be held, other options are now also being considered, including Kaljulaid speaking at Elva High School or Tartu's Old Observatory instead.

Tallinn's Theatre NO99 is also being considered for producing the performance to be staged at the presidential reception, although this has yet to be confirmed.

"We are currently in the phase of preparations where we are in talks with creative people who could be tasked with developing the evening's artistic concept," Public Relations Adviser to the President Taavi Linnamäe told ERR on Tuesday, adding that it was thus still too early to discuss any sort of artistic or logistical solutions for the evening of the 24th.

Full schedule for Estonia's centennial week

Monday, Feb. 19

  • 12 p.m. — Gathering at the beginning of Tartu Highway in Tallinn, where the newly established Estonian Salvation Committee (Päästekomitee) first met at the since-demolished Tallinn Industrial Art School to draft the Estonian Declaration of Independence.
  • 1 p.m. — Special edition jubilee €2 coin to be unveiled at the Independence Hall of the Bank of Estonia. As many jubilee coins will be minted as there are residents in Estonia — i.e. just over 1.3 million.


Tuesday, Feb. 20

  • 12 p.m. — Outdoor ceremony to be held at Haapsalu Castle Square.
  • 1 p.m. — Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) to present recipients with this year's national cultural and reserach awards at a ceremony at Haapsalu's Läänemaa Joint High School.

Wednesday, Feb. 21

  • 12 p.m. — President Kaljulaid to bestow state decorations to this year's recipients at the University of Tartu Narva College.
  • 1:30 p.m. — Estonia 100 gold and silver coins minted by the Bank of Estonia to be unveiled at Narva's historic Stock Market Building, to be available for sale later at Narva College and at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn.
  • 3 p.m. — Outdoor ceremony at Narva's Town Hall Square.
  • 4:30 p.m. — Youth concert at Astri Centre.

Thursday, Feb. 22

  • Estonian government to hold regular meeting in Viljandi
  • 12:30 p.m. — Estonia 100 jubilee stamp unveiled.
  • 7 p.m. — Prime Minister Jüri Ratas to deliver traditional speech at Theatre Vanemuine in Tartu.

Friday, Feb. 23

  • 10 a.m. — Wreath to be placed at birthplace of President Konstantin Päts in Tahkuranna, Pärnu County.
  • 12 p.m. — Ago Pajur and Toomas Karjahärm's monograph on Päts to be presented at the old Raeküla schoolhouse in Pärnu.
  • 5 p.m. — Monument by Margus and Mart Kadarik to be unveiled on Pärnu's Kuninga Street dedicated to the three members of the Estonian Salvation Committee, Konstantin Päts, Jüri Vilms and Konstantin Konik, as well as Hugo Kuusner, the first person to read the Estonian Declaration of Independence in Pärnu on Feb. 23, 1918.
  • 6 p.m. — Estonian Declaration of Independence read at Rüütli Square; public festival begins.
  • 7 p.m. — Reception and premiere of new piece by Rasmus Puur and Doris Kareva at Pärnu Concert Hall.

Saturday, Feb. 24

  • Approx. 7:30 a.m. — Flags across country raised at dawn, with most festive ceremony on Toompea Hill in Tallinn.
  • 11 a.m. — Parade of the Estonian Defence Forces in Tallinn's Freedom Square
  • 2:30 p.m. — Independence Day church service at Paide Church of the Holy Cross, preceded by outdoor ceremony in town.
  • 7 p.m. — President's reception, concert at Estonian National Museum.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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