Estonian centennial events to cover week leading up to Independence Day
Estonia's centennial week begins this Monday, with events to take place in various towns and cities across the country in the days leading up to Feb. 24.
Feb. 24 with its Independence Day parade in Tallinn's Freedom Square will not be the only important day next week; equally important is the entire week leading up to Estonia's centennial, reported ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera."
The idea behind the week's worth of events is to illustrate through various events the birth of the Estonian Declaration of Independence, known as the Manifesto to the Peoples of Estonia, which is why the centennial week will begin at the site of the since-demolished secret apartment of the Estonian Salvation Committee, which issued the Manifesto.
"People today may know this site as an empty lot where the Art Institute only recently still stood," said Margus Kasterpalu, head of major events on the Estonia 100 organizing team. "We will meet there and launch the centennial week."
Other events during the week will take place in Haapsalu, Narva and Pärnu.
On Friday, all eyes will be on Pärnu, where the Manifesto was first proclaimed on Feb. 23, 1918. The Manifesto will also be read in Paide and Viljandi. On Saturday, the Independence Day parade will take place in Tallinn, and a church service in Paide.
"The raising of the flag will be here, on Toompea Hill in Tallinn, but in Tartu and Narva as well," Kasterpalu said. "There will be events everywhere that will be worth attending with your family to see how the blue, black and white flag is raised once again."
President Kersti Kaljulaid's official reception will take place at the Estonian National Museum (ERM) in Tartu on Saturday night.
In addition to the official centennial program, many other events will be taking place all over the country next week, and spontaneous events may be organized for the 24th as well.
1,000 gifts for Estonia 100
Over 1,000 gifts to Estonia have been pledged by various individuals, institutions and organizations. Gifts in honor of the Estonian centennial can be made through the end of the centennial celebration period, which will conclude on Feb. 2, 2020 with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty.
Editor: Aili Vahtla