Nordic heads of state celebrated the centenary of Finland’s independence in Helsinki on Thursday 1 June 2017. President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio were the hosts for the day.
The presidential couple welcomed Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway and President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson and his spouse, Eliza Jean Reid, of Iceland in ceremonies at the forecourt of the Presidential Palace. After the ceremonies, the presidential and royal couples greeted the public from the balcony of the Presidential Palace. The general public watched the guests arrive at the Market Square (Kauppatori in Finnish) and Pohjoisesplanadi.
After the programme at the Presidential Palace, the day continued with a lunch hosted by Helsinki’s incoming mayor Jan Vapaavuori at the City Hall. The Finnish presidential couple and their guests walked from the Presidential Palace to the City Hall at midday, greeting the public on their way.
In addition, the presidential and royal couples watched a Dancing Finland (Koko Suomi) dance event, held in the Market Square, from the balcony of the City Hall. The performance included Humppa and street dance.
In the afternoon, President Niinistö, Mrs Haukio and the Nordic heads of state participated in the re-inauguration of the Hanasaari Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre. Gunvor Kronman, the CEO of Hanasaari, hosted the event.
The guests also visited the Sibelius Monument in the Sibelius Park, where they listened to singing by the choir of the Helsinki Music Centre, among other performances. The park was open to the public. The day ended with a banquet in the Presidential Palace.
Yle broadcasted part of the visit live on television and on Yle Areena. Members of the public participated in the day via the social media by using the hashtags #FInland100 and #together.