Estonia celebrates 97 years since first independence

  • 2015-02-24
  • from wire reports, TALLINN

The Republic of Estonia celebrates its 97th anniversary today (Tuesday, February 24), with most of the highest-profile events taking place this year in Ida-Virumaa (in the north-east of the country).

The Republic of Estonia first declared its independence on February 24, 1918.

The celebrations started on Monday when wreaths were placed on the graves of Estonian state figures in Tallinn's Metsakalmistu cemetery, according to the press department of the foreign ministry. At 1 p.m., a presentation of state decorations by the President of the Republic took place at the Rakvere Theatre. In the afternoon, awarding of national science awards, the F.J. Wiedemann Language Award and sports and cultural awards by Prime Minister Taavi Roivas take place at the University of Tartu.

Today's events start at 7.20 a.m. with a formal flag-raising ceremony in the courtyard of Hermann Castle, Narva. At 7.34 a.m., a formal flag-raising ceremony will also take place at Pikk Hermann Tower in Tallinn.

Several wreath laying ceremonies and church services will also take place around Estonia.

At noon, the Defence Forces parade takes place at Narva’s Peetri Square.

At 6 p.m. at the Johvi Concert Hall there will be an Independence Day concert and formal reception hosted by the President of the Republic Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Mrs. Evelin Ilves.

The formal events will be attended by the President of the Republic, the speaker of the Riigikogu, the Prime Minister, members of the government and Riigikogu and representatives of the diplomatic corps.