Estonia Celebrates 100th Birthday on February 24, 2018

Canadians Join Estonians around the Globe in Celebration!

It was 100 years ago, on February 24, 1918, that Estonia was proclaimed as a democratic and independent republic. The centenary is real cause for celebration, and a perfect opportunity for Estonians to unite in their efforts to build a brighter future, together.

The first celebration of Estonian Independence Day in Tallinn, Estonia on February 24, 1919. Source: Wikipedia

The Flag Shop congratulates Estonians across Canada and around the globe on reaching this important milestone. On Saturday, February 24 at sunrise, the Estonian flag will be raised in locations across Estonia, to commemorate and celebrate 100 years of independence.

Estonia 100 centenary week brings Estonia’s 100th anniversary celebrations across the country and beyond! Source: Estonia 100

The Estonia Flag
The Estonian flag was officially adopted on May 8, 1990. The blue symbolizes loyalty, and beautiful blue skies, seas and lakes. The black represents oppression of the past and fertile soil. The white reflects virtue, as well as Estonia’s struggle for independence and freedom. How important is the symbolism of the flag to Estonians? It’s important enough to have an actual word for their flag: “sinimustvalge”, which literally means, “blue-black-white.”

Image Source: Estonia 100

Estonian Valtrik Pihl, a Helsinki-based construction worker from Paide, knitted a huge, 160-square metre (1,722-square ft) flag as a gift for Estonia’s centenary, celebrated this year. Source: Estonian World

The large knitted Estonian flag is currently displayed at the Estonian National Museum. Source: Estonian National Museum

Did You Know That in Estonia…?
1. …swinging is BIG!
Estonians take swinging very seriously! In a sport called “kiiking”, invented in the 1990s by a man named Ado Kosk, swingers attach themselves to giant steel swings and rotate 360°, while swinging! This gives new meaning to the phrase, “in full swing!”

2. …people vote online.
Estonia was the first country in the entire world to adopt online voting. They’ve been clicking and tapping to vote since 2007.

3. …craft beer is everywhere.
There’s been a beer revolution in the last few years, taking a popular home-brewing hobby to a way to earn a living! As it turns out, the cost of alcohol in Estonia is lower than its Scandinavian neighbors, so people are known to travel to Estonia just for a beer!

4. …there are only three major cities.
The cities of Tallinn, Tartu and Narva are the only ones with populations of more than 50,000.

5. …space food was first developed.
Space food had its beginnings in a factory located in the town of Põltsamaa, in Estonia, in 1962. This food was produced and packaged specifically for use in space travel.

6. …Skype was born.
Estonians take credit for the invention of Skype. It’s a pretty big deal, and some have been known to joke that the blue in their national flag actually symbolizes the blue in the Skype logo.

7. …the population is mostly female.
Estonia’s population has more women than men. For every 100 females in Estonia, there are 84 males, – which is very unusual – and second only to the Northern Mariana Islands (a commonwealth of the USA).

8. …they have a huge national song festival called “Laulupidu.”
This festival is among the largest choral events in the world. Can you just imagine a joint choir of over 30,000 singers performing for an audience of 80,000?

9. …there is a very high rate of literacy.
Estonia has one of the highest adult literacy rates in the world. Reading in Estonia’s official language, (called Eesti Keele in Estonian), sounds pretty tough to us!

Don’t Forget Your “Sinimustvalge!”
With so much to celebrate, The Flag Shop is here to help you express your Estonian pride! All Flag Shops across Canada carry Estonian flags in a variety of sizes, as well as lapel pins, crests, and decals. If you’re looking for a particular item, let us know, because we think you’d be surprised to learn what we have in our warehouse!

For information about 100th Anniversary celebrations in your area, or to attend, check out the links below:

Estonian Independence Gala
EV100 Juubelipidu Torontos

EV 100 Anniversary Ball

Estonia’s Independence 100th Anniversary

Estonia’s 100th birthday celebrations

Estonia 100th Independence Day Ball

Congratulations to all Estonians across Canada, and around the globe!

Chinese New Year – AKA Spring Festival & Lunar New Year

2018: Celebrating the Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year is celebrated by 1/5 of the world’s population, and is a vacation week in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Singapore. Although Chinese New Year takes place in the middle of winter, it is also known as the Spring Festival because it marks the end of the coldest days of winter. It is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts, when Asians around the world settle their differences, make up, and reconnect with acquaintances of the past.

“Chunyun” – The Largest Human Migration in the World
In the period leading up to Chinese New Year, China and other parts of Asia see extreme numbers of people traveling, taking a break from their work or studies to be with family for New Year’s Eve dinner. This well-known period, called “Chunyun”, usually begins 15 days before New Year’s Day and lasts for weeks afterwards. During this time, Asians take billions of trips by land, air, rail, and sea, in the largest annual migration in the world.

Hangzhou East railway station located in Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China, began its operations in 1992 and was rebuilt as a high-speed rail hub in 2010. It’s now one of the largest railway stations in Asia.

The Chinese Zodiac – Which Animal Are You?
The Chinese zodiac involves a 12-year cycle, with a specific animal representing each year. According to Chinese mythology, the origin of the zodiac resulted from a great race between the animals. The specific order of the zodiac is based on how each of the animals performed in the race. 2018 is the Year of the Dog. Those born this year are described as clever, loyal, heroic, responsible, lively, and courageous. Which animal are you? Find your birth year on the list below:

Year of the Rat: The Rat is generous, imaginative and charming.
2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960

Year of the Ox: The Ox is conservative, confident, and a born leader.
2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961

Year of the Tiger: The Tiger is sensitive, emotional and capable of great love.
2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962

Year of the Rabbit: The Rabbit is kind, affectionate and pleasant.
2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963

Year of the Dragon: The Dragon is a gifted perfectionist, enthusiastic and popular.
2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964

Year of the Snake: The Snake is intuitive, deep-thinking and wise.
2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965

Year of the Horse: The Horse is friendly, independent and hardworking.
2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966

Year of the Goat: The Goat is artistic, elegant and charming.
2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967

Year of the Monkey: The Monkey is intelligent, with a magnetic personality, and well-liked.
2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968

Year of the Rooster: The Rooster is a dreamer, a decision-maker and a flashy dresser.
2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969

Year of the Dog: The Dog is courageous, loyal and heroic.
2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970

Year of the Pig: The Pig is honest, sincere and tolerant.
2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

New Year’s Red Envelopes
Gifts are exchanged during the Spring Festival and children receive red envelopes containing lucky money. Giving red envelopes symbolizes the sharing of good fortune from the elders to the younger generation. Red envelopes are also given between friends, bosses, employees, and co-workers.

Canadians Celebrate Chinese New Year
There are many events planned across Canada and we have lots of products to make your Chinese New Year celebrations unforgettable! It’s impossible to name all the events and celebrations, so here’s a quick peek at what’s going on across the country:

In Vancouver, there are a number of events planned, including the 45th Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade on February 18, and the Gold Ocean Lunar Fest Mingle 2018 on February 17th. Highlights of this event include a Chinese Couture fashion show, tea ceremony, waist drumming, and Chinese calligraphy.

Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade 2017. Image Source: Samir D / 604 Now

In Calgary, the Chinese Cultural Centre Association will hold its Chinese New Year Festival 2018 on February 17th and 18th. There will be something for everyone, including special performances of traditional lion and dragon dancing, martial arts demonstrations, and colourful Chinese lantern displays.

Calgary Chinese New Year Festival 2017. Image Source: Goldenjade Photography

In Toronto, the Chinatown BIA will host its Chinese New Year Celebration on February 17th and 18th. The event promises traditional games, food, dancing, as well as fortune telling.

Toronto Chinese New Year Celebration 2017. Image Source: Toronto Chinatown BIA

For more information or to attend these events – or others in your community – take a look at the links below:

Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver
Gold Ocean Lunar Fest Mingle 2018
Lunar New Year Festival – Vancouver / Richmond

Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre

Chinatown BIA

Edmonton Chinatown Multi-Cultural Centre

How to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Montreal
Celebrate Chinese New Year in Montreal 2018

Chinatown Ottawa

Planning your own event? We’d love to help! At The Flag Shop, we’ve been helping our clients celebrate Chinese New Year for over 45 years, with a variety of offerings to help you ring in the New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

We carry many Chinese flag products, such as paper flags, stick flags, and tattoos.

Big Events Coming for 2018

Canadian Olympic Gold, FIFA Fever and Cadets Centenary

In 2017, Canadians joined together to celebrate one of the most important milestones in Canada’s history: Canada’s 150th birthday. Now that it’s over, some may wonder how we’re ever going to top such an amazing and important year. Everyone at The Flag Shop is pumped up about what lies ahead for 2018. Whether international, national, or regional events, there are so many things happening!

So, what is going on this year? We polled our Flag Shops across Canada and asked for their help. Together, we came up with our Top 3, highlighting events we thought would be among the most important to Canadians:

Image Source: Canadian Olympic Team Official Website

#1) Winter Olympics – Feb 9th to 25th
The 2018 Winter Olympics – officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games – are coming up quickly in PyeongChang, South Korea. We all know the thrill of watching the opening ceremonies, and experience heart-pounding pride in our nation as we see our beautiful flag being waved on the world stage. Get ready to cheer on the best of the best in winter sports, including figure skating, ski jumping, bobsleigh, snowboarding, and of course, Canada’s national winter sport: ice hockey. Predictions for the games include Team Canada bringing home a whopping 33 medals. Whether you’re rooting for Canada, Kosovo, Croatia or Korea, don’t miss your chance to wave your nation’s flag. Follow us on Facebook as we share updates and medals standings. For more information about the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, visit their official website.

Winter Paralympics – March 9th to 18th
The Winter Paralympics – officially called the XII Paralympic Winter Games will begin a couple of weeks after the closing ceremonies of the Winter Games, and will include sports such as ice sledge hockey, biathlon and snowboarding. Throughout the games, there will be a total of 80 exciting medal events. For more information about the XII Paralympic Winter Games, please visit their official website.

Image Source:

#2) FIFA World Cup – June 14th to July 15th
Whether you like to call it soccer or football, mark your calendars for FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018. Get swept up in the excitement of the games as 32 national teams participate in 64 matches, including two first-timers: Iceland and Panama. The games will reach a frenzied state of “FIFA Fever” leading up to the final match on July 15, at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. FIFA fan polls are purely speculative, but teams such as Spain, Argentina, Italy, Brazil and Germany are all believed to be contenders for the cup. Get your team’s flag on and join fans around the world as we all stand behind our favorite team! For match schedules and more, visit the FIFA World Cup – Russia 2018 official website.

Top: Celebrating 100 years of Sea Cadets. Bottom: Niagara Falls Sea Cadets – 1947. Image Source: Navy League of Ontario – Ontario Division.

#3) Navy League of Canada Ontario Division Centenary – April 2018
In 1917, Reverend J. Russell McLean of the Ontario Division of the Navy League of Canada helped establish a group of Toronto Sea Scouts as a Boys Naval Brigade. This was the beginning of what is known today as the Sea Cadet Movement. The Navy League Cadet program aims to help young Canadians learn life skills such as team work, and leadership. Today, there are more than 3,500 active Navy League Cadets in 102 communities across Canada. The Ontario division of the Navy League of Canada commemorated its 100th anniversary last year and final celebrations are planned to take place at its 2018 Annual General Meeting, in Markham, Ontario in April. To learn more, visit the Navy League of Canada – Ontario Division website.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs, as we feature more exciting and important events as the year unfolds.