Estonia is getting ready for their Independence Day celebration

Estonian Independence Day, February 24, will see a necessarily different set of events from most years, due to the ongoing pandemic.

The traditional flag raising ceremony will still take place from just after 7.30 a.m. (i.e. sunrise), but the public are asked to stay home and hold their own flag-raising close family gatherings.

The ceremony, at the Governor’s Garden on Toompea, adjacent to the Riigikogu, is being broadcast by ETV, as well as in Russian on ETV+, and on radio station Vikerraadio.

Those who will be in attendance are Riigikogu speaker Henn Põlluaas (EKRE), head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Archbishop Urmas Viilma, and Estonian Academy of Music and Theater (EAMT) student Haardo Adamson, who will read out the independence day manifesto dating back to 1918, as well as President Kersti Kaljulaid.

Commander of the volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit) Brig. Gen Riho Ühtegi, commander of the Estonian Navy (Merevägi) Cdre Jüri Saska, and U.K. ambassador to Estonia Thereasa Bubbear will also be present, while the National Opera’s (Rahvusooper) boys’ choir, conducted by Hirvo Surva, will perform several patriotic hymns.

Meanwhile, the annual military parade is being replaced with a NATO flyover, with jets from several allied nations taking part. The president’s annual reception is also canceled; Kersti Kaljulaid will be making a speech from the central Estonian town of Paide, which will also be broadcast live on ETV.

February 24 is a national holiday, while February 23 is set to be a half-day.

Meanwhile in Tallinn, smaller events are being organized by Tallinn City Government, both on independence day itself and on the days around it.

Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart said. “Estonia’s birthday is being celebrated in every district of the city; both open-air and web concerts are organized, and those interested can participate in the opening of a new snow sculpture park, and listen to an audio program of Estonian poetry.”



Photo: Siim Lõvi /ERR.Source: ERR