It is New Year’s Eve again. But this time for us Finns it’s not just any turn of the year: we are entering the year our country will have been independent for 100 years and instead of partying for one night, we will be celebrating all year long.

A brilliant way to welcome 2017 is to explore our great outdoors and, if you’re lucky, spot some gorgeous northern lights. Another option is to head to downtown Helsinki and take part in the massive celebrations organised at Kansalaistori square right next to the Helsinki Music Centre. Be prepared to dance on the streets! (Now that’s Finns getting wild, I’m telling you!).

2016 for me has been unforgettable. I will always remember it as the year I became a mother, spent the entire year out of office, bought a cosy and welcoming house and got to spend a beautiful Christmas in Lapland.

But I am also looking forward to the coming year since it will be packed with events and projects to celebrate our country. The Finland 100 -website has a full list of events and at the moment it goes on for over 1300 pages. Here are a few of my personal favourites:

  • Flag day for nature! Finland will be the first nation in the world to appoint an official flag day for nature.
  • Blue-and-white woolen socks for all newborns. Finns love to knit and every now and then people join their knitting forces for the common good. This time the goal is to knit blue-and-white woolen socks for all babies born in 2017. How brilliant!
  • Luminous Light ensemble. Light artist Kari Kola  is producing massive light installations around Finland. It will be epic.

If the thought of travelling to Finland has ever crossed your mind, I’m telling you 2017 is the year to do it, for sure. Lonely Planet agrees with me.

But now I’d like to wish you all Happy New Year and all the best for 2017! See you in Finland!

Photos taken in Levi, Lapland, at Christmas time. Finland is one of the best countries in the world for spotting northern lights.