We are now starting the last month, most likely the busiest month, of a very special year in Finnish history - the year of celebrating the 100th anniversary of Finland's Independence. The actual birthday of Finnish independence is Dec. 6, and Finns around the world will unite in celebration. Here are some events at which you can join the celebration:
On Saturday, Dec. 2, in conjunction with Cloquet's "Home for the Holidays" celebration, the Carlton County Historical Society will host an opening and reception for a special exhibit, "100 Years of Finnish Independence," from 1-3 p.m. at its museum in Cloquet.
Also Dec. 2, the Finnish Americans and Friends (FAF) Christmas party will be held at the Crown Ballroom in Hibbing at the corner of Howard Street and Third Avenue. The social gathering starts at 12:30 p.m. and the dinner at 1 p.m. The cost is $25 and includes the 2018 FAF dues. June Randall, a highly regarded singer and musician, will give a performance in Finnish and English.
For reservations or more information, contact Mary Ann at 218-262-1206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, Dec. 3, brings the annual Pikkujoulu and Itsenäisyyspäivä (Independence Day) Celebration, sponsored by the Minnesota Finnish American Historical Society (MFAHS) Järvenpää Chapter 1. Held at the Holiday Inn, 200 W. First St., Duluth, everyone will celebrate Finland's Centennial with a special program and noon luncheon.
A special Finnish Independence Day program about the Finnish folk epic, the Kalevala, will be given by museum director Rachael Martin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Carlton County Historical Society, Cloquet.
A once-in-a-lifetime Itsenäisyyspäiväjuhla Celebration will be held from 5-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, the official Finnish Independence Day, at the Duluth Depot Great Hall and Steffl Gallery, 506 W. Michigan St., Duluth.
This Finnish Independence Gala will feature an artists' reception for the Finnish-American Art Exhibit, "Yhdessä! Together," plus a special program at 6:30 p.m., live music, Finnish-inspired refreshments, proclamations, and displays. This event is free and everyone is welcome. For more information, check the "Finland 100-Northland" page on Facebook.
You can also view the "Yhdessä! Together" Art Exhibit from Dec. 6 to Jan. 2 at the Duluth Art Institute. Check the "Finland 100-Northland" page on Facebook for more information.
If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping, head to the Nelimark Farm, 4839 Salo Rd., Embarrass, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8-9.
Mark your calendars: Helina Pakola, one of the founders of the Singing Strings group, plans to sponsor a movie at Kaleva Hall in Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 9. Watch your local newspaper for more information.
The Sami Cultural Center, 4915 E. Superior St., No. 205, Duluth, will hold its annual Holiday/Solstice Open House from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Included will be the opening reception for the new display "Sámi mánát - About Sami Children." Nathan Muus will also present a program, "2017 Travels: Jokkmokk and More," with photographs and information about several trips he's taken this past year as a board member.
Holiday refreshments will be available. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, email email@example.com.
The "150 Years of Finnish Immigration to Minnesota" display can be seen at the Ely-Winton Historical Society Museum at the Vermilion Community College, 1900 E. Camp St., Ely, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays until early December. The exhibit will then be moved to the Minnesota Discovery Center (Ironworld) in Chisholm for the rest of December. On loan from the Immigrant Archives Library at the University of Minnesota, the exhibit contains 12 panels depicting the history of Finnish immigration from 1864 to 2014.
Every year on Dec. 6, we of Finnish heritage celebrate Finland's independence. We remember, honor, and learn. We remember how hard our Finnish ancestors fought to gain Finland's independence. We also honor those who worked to keep this freedom. And we learn, and teach, that Finnish Sisu is a powerful force in keeping Finland free and strong.
In this very special year of celebrating Finland's 100th anniversary, take the time to celebrate, to remember, to honor, to learn, to share. "Yhdessä! Together!"