A Merry Merry Christmas from Tallin, the Estonian pearl, a city that celebrates Christmas religiously, with colorful festivals, and traditions that make it worthwhile for you to spend your holidays here. Tomorrow, Tallin’s Open Air Museum invites all Christmas lovers to come to celebrate the seasonal spirit, and the true meaning of Christmas – love (December 18–19, 2010 at 11–16 o’clock).
Here, Christmas is not about the red Santa Claus. The main thing celebrated here is the birth of Jesus Christ. Then follow the family values, traditions and rituals, some of which still keep a number of pagan influences.
Everything you need to know about Christmas in Estonia will unfold in front of eyes full of wonder – an exhibition of decorated Christmas trees throughout the past century at the Sassi-Jaani farm, or learning how the Setos (Orthodox Estonians) are preparing for their winter holidays at the Sepa farm. It’s a fun celebration, with Christmas carols, cooking of traditional Estonian Christmas dishes and even traditional Christmas games.
For instance, at the Köstriaseme farm the old housewife is making a ‘Sooty Thomas’, a straw doll symbolizing dirt and laziness – a traditional ritual on St. Thomas Day (December 21). St. Thomas’ beggars visit the house to taste beer, freshly brewed by the master himself. Over at the Aarte farm, in the fisherman’s family, the housewife is waiting for her husband with a home-made fish pie and freshly roasted coffee.
With the Christmas Village at the Estonian Open Air Museum the organizers hope to revive some of the Christmas celebrations of Estonia’s ancestors. But more importantly, this is a great opportunity for foreign travelers to learn something about this fascinating country, its traditions and its cultural heritage.