Over 1,000 events are planned in Lithuania and another 70 abroad next year when the country will celebrate the centenary of its restored statehood.
Lithuania's flag
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

The so-called Centenary Express is starting its journey from Vilnius to Šilutė, a town in the western part of the country, on Tuesday to mark 100 days to go until Feb. 16, 2018. A countdown clock will be put up at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday.

Neringa Vaisbrodė, coordinator of the centenary program, says that the program sets three directions for events, namely "learn, create and celebrate", and features 11 main types of activities, including films, exhibitions, information campaigns and a Song Festival. It is planned to screen 17 films and hold nine exhibitions, mostly next year.

The key dates are February 16 and Jun. 30 to July 6, when a large-scale Song Festival will take place.

People are also encouraged to spend some time volunteering as a centenary present to the state.

Some 3.66 million euros has been earmarked for the centenary program budget this year and another 7.5 million euros next year. Most of the money will go toward film production and exhibitions.

The Council of Lithuania on February 16, 1918 proclaimed the restoration of an independent state of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital.

Liudas Mažylis, professor at Vytautas Magnus University, found the Council of Lithuania's resolution, written by hand in Lithuanian and German and with 20 signatures on it, in the German Foreign Ministry's archive in late March.

Historians believe that several original copies of the document were signed on that day, but the whereabouts of the others are unknown.

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