25 stunning photos of Finland to celebrate its 100th anniversary


100 years ago, Finland took advantage of the chaotic Bolshevik takeover of Petrograd to declare its independence from Russia, who was its master since annexing the territory from Sweden over a century prior in 1809.

The new country overcame a tumultuous political period following their declaration of independence. In just one year there was civil war that killed 36,600 Finnish people, a staggering portion of the 3.1 million population at the time. Finland briefly became a monarchy for a couple of months, then, after their new German prince was defeated in World War I, it become a republic that was finally recognized by the U.S. and Britain.

And on their centenary, the government picked an appropriate theme for its efforts to unite as one country -- 'Together.'

Every year, the Finnish people revel in their autonomy on the signing date, December 6th, but there are multiple dates throughout 2017 designated by the government for celebration.

Starting in January, the Lux Helsinki lights festival lit up the capital during the darkest days of the year. Finland will celebrate its musical side in June with the 'Everyone Sing' concert, when the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra will play sing-a-long songs broadcast across the country. The 'Let's Eat Together' event in August will bring Finns together to celebrate their unique culinary culture with hundreds of dining activities at parks, restaurants, schools and more -- Finland is already calling it the world's largest village festival.

If these events feel a bit too 'It's a Small World' for you, then you are not alone. A survey found that nine out of ten people in Finland just want to celebrate nature during the 100th anniversary year.

Four designated 'Nature Days' have been set up; 'Discover winter wonderlands,' 'Go wild in the spring,' 'Enjoy a romantic summer night,' and 'Celebrate Finnish Nature day.'

Events like identifying wildflowers, sleeping in homemade lean-tos and learning to cross country ski are set up to help Finnish people and visitors take advantage of their world-class nation parks.

The crowning moment for outdoor enthusiasts will take place on June 17 when the country's 40th national park, Hossa, will be inaugurated.

Click through the gallery above to see 25 beautiful photos of Finland -- and put the Nordic nation on the top of your 2017 travel short list.