We know Estonia

6.6.2016 | Editorial

Secrets of Midsummer

Secrets of Midsummer

If you happen to be in Tallinn for Midsummer, you’ll probably be wondering why it’s so quiet. Midsummer or St John’s Eve and St John’s Day are celebrated on June 23 and 24 in connection with the summer solstice, a day where the sun almost doesn’t set. Many locals leave for the countryside, to their cottages in the forest, by a lake, or at the beach.

According to legend it is the night when the young girl Eha meets the young boy Koit. Eha means evening twilight and Koit morning twilight. On Midsummer’s night the two youngsters only meet for a short kiss, then they part and have for a whole year to meet again!

Midsummer’s Eve is celebrated outdoors and nobody goes to sleep. People gather, sing and dance. Activities are centred around a big bonfire and food is prepared on a BBQ. There is also the tradition of jumping over the bonfire, which according to the legend is a guarantee for prosperity and to avoid bad luck. Others claim that it is a symbol for a connection with the past. But if you see one of these bonfires, you’d wonder how anyone could jump over something so big. The good fortune must come from not falling in!

Another tradition is a try on the big wooden village swings. You stand up and increase your speed until you make a 360-degree turn around the bar.

Midsummer’s Eve coincides with Victory Day, which goes back to the defeat of German Landeswehr on June 23, 1919. Victory Day celebrations start with a joyous military parade, which has become a popular family event. The President lights a torch and fires are then lit all over the country as a symbol of independence and of free spirit.

 

Happy travels!

Kristina Lupp,

Editor-in-chief

1.6.2017 | Editorial

Fire-jumping and white nights

Fire-jumping and white nights

If you happen to be in Tallinn for Midsummer, you’ll notice that there aren’t many Estonians around. Midsummer or St … Read more

2.5.2017 | Editorial

Summer in the city, and in the countryside

Summer in the city, and in the countryside

Summer creeps up on us slowly here in Estonia, so slowly in fact, that we’re never quite sure when the … Read more

3.4.2017 | Editorial

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

Ah, the smell of spring in the air! Longer days, more sunshine, and the anticipation of summer being just around … Read more

2.3.2017 | Editorial

The spring spirit

The spring spirit

You might say spring is in the air, but not because of the weather, because of the upcoming events this … Read more

31.1.2017 | Editorial

Winter is in full swing

Winter is in full swing

While winter is far from over and it will still be some time before we see any signs of spring, … Read more

3.1.2017 | Editorial

Let it snow!

Let it snow!

While we haven’t been blessed with much snow over the past years, as I write this I have my fingers … Read more

1.11.2016 | Editorial

The sights and  smells of the holidays

The sights and smells of the holidays

If there’s one consolation to the long dark nights and short gloomy days of autumn, it’s that you know Christmas … Read more

1.11.2016 | Editorial

An Estonian Christmas

An Estonian Christmas

Estonian Christmas is a mixture of traditional and modern, a combination of cultures and cuisines. The many occupations of Estonia … Read more