A number of countries around the world are celebrating important anniversaries in 2018. With the year marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, many nations will mark the centenary.
And there are other notable anniversaries happening too. Here are 10 to keep an eye out for.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr King was killed, hosts MLK50: Where Do We Go From Here?, with exhibits, events and memorials taking place throughout the year. Meanwhile, around the US there will be many events to commemorate King’s death and celebrate his life’s work, including a series of lectures for young students at The King Center in Georgia.
In 2018, the Czech Republic celebrates three anniversaries: the foundation of the First Republic in 1918; 25 years since the country split with Slovakia; and the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring, which briefly saw the then-communist country introduce moderate reforms ultimately crushed by the Soviet army. To celebrate the country’s centenary, the National Technical Museum is staging an exhibition “Made in Czechoslovakia 1918-1992 – industry, which conquered the world”, while the Czech Philharmonic will give an open-air concert.
Like the Czech Republic, Estonia first gained independence in the aftermath of the First World War. In celebration of this, events and exhibitions will be held throughout the country. Each city, town and village has been invited to host its own Estonia 100 party, before passing the baton on to the next host. With Tallinn voted Lonely Planet’s best value city for 2018, the capital is certain to be abuzz with activity this year too – though with around 50 per cent of the country covered in forest, a visit to Estonia is a good opportunity to enjoy its stunning nature and wildlife, alongside the historical celebrations.
Somhlolo Day, Swaziland’s Independence Day, is celebrated on 6 September every year. In 2018, the event will take on a special significance, marking 50 years since the small African country gained independence from Britain. The country will enjoy a double celebration in 2018 when King Mswati III celebrates his 50th birthday. Details of planned events have yet to be released, but lavish parties and traditional ceremonies can be expected.
Mauritius, like Swaziland, celebrates 50 years of independence from Britain in 2018. The country is currently compiling a calendar of events to mark the occasion, with 12 March, the date of independence, likely to be quite a party in the small island nation. The country has teamed up with the BBC to release two films to both celebrate its independence and showcase everything that makes it a great holiday destination.
In 2018, Seville in Spain celebrates the life and work of Baroque painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, who was born in the city 400 years ago. Famous both for his religious paintings and drawings of women and children, Murillo’s life will be remembered with a series of exhibitions, concerts and other events honouring his artistic and cultural contribution to the city.
Vienna, Austria, celebrates the lives of two of its most prominent characters this year. One hundred years on from their deaths, the city will breathe new life into the works of painter Gustav Klimt and architect Otto Wagner, while Vienna will also host a number of other exhibitions under the 2018 theme Beauty and the Abyss.
Every year the Bergman Center in Faro, Sweden, hosts Bergman Week, celebrating the life of the famous director. Ingmar Bergman lived on the island in his later years, and also shot many of his films there, including Through a Glass Darkly, Shame and Scenes from a Marriage. The 2018 edition takes place in the centenary year of the director’s birth, from 25 June to 29 July.
Like Estonia to the north, Latvia celebrates 100 years since the foundation of its first republic in 1918, with numerous events planned, including a series of Latvian film screenings and a Song and Dance event celebrating the best of Latvian culture.
Chile celebrated its bicentennial in 2010, commemorating the start of the process that ultimately led to independence, but there will be further celebrations and commemorative events in 2018. Moreover, Chile is Lonely Planet’s top country to visit in 2018 – and with direct flights now available between London and Santiago, it’s never been easier to get there.