In 2017, Finland will become the first country in the world to honour its natural environment with an official flag day. The Ministry of the Interior has ordered that flags should be flown on Finnish Nature Day, which falls on the last Saturday of August. Next year, this will be 26 August 2017. This will round off the celebration of Nature Days – hundreds of nature events, either organised or pop-up – in honour of the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence.
"According to our survey, nine out of ten Finns want to celebrate Finnish nature as part of Finland's centennial jubilee in 2017. This is an excellent reason for introducing a new flag day," said Pekka Timonen, General Secretary of the 'Finland 100 Years' organisation.
"The strong presence of nature in Finland's centennial celebrations has attracted wide international interest. Nature and the related programmes played a key role when the major international travel media companies, Lonely Planet and National Geographic, ranked Finland as one of the best destinations for 2017."
The aim is to have Finnish flags flown on as many poles as possible, with small flags displayed in various connections, such as on nature trails, to decorate hiking food, or in other ways.
Four Nature Days to Celebrate Nature throughout the Centennial Jubilee Year
In honour of Finland's 100 years of independence, Finnish Nature Day, already organised since 2013, has been expanded into four Nature Days, supported by around 50 organisations.
The idea of Nature Days is to bring people together and draw them out into Finland's natural settings on these four days, in celebration of our relationship with nature and its continuity. In addition to traditional outdoor activities, special celebrations will be organised. For instance, on the Finnish Nature Day 26 August, choral concerts will be held in all national parks.
People are also encouraged to join Nature Days, by arranging their own events.
In 2017, there will be four Nature Days: 4 February: Enjoying winter; 20 May: Going wild about spring; 17 June: Enjoying a romantic summer night; and 26 August: Celebrating Finnish nature.