15 - 16 December, 2018
from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Christmas is the most beloved holiday for the Estonians, eagerly awaited both by children and adults. However not everyone is celebrating Christmas in the same way. For many officials Christmas is a busy working time.
The schoolmaster has to teach children the Christmas message and holiday songs, the pastor’s wife has to set the church ready for the sermon, the shop lady has to keep an eye on that everybody gets their goods and the parish elder’s family has to take care of the poorest in the village so that they as well could enjoy a Christmas meal. Come and be part of the centuries-old Christmas bustle of different village officials.
Every proper Christmas Village must have its Christmas fair. Visitors can purchase nice handmade items and small gifts for their loved ones from the Sassi-Jaani farmhouse. In the summer kitchen, warm tea is served by the Friends of Estonian Open Air Museum.
Christmas time in a gamekeeper’s family
Before the holidays, the gamekeeper builds a manger for wild animals to make their lives a bit easier in winter. He cannot take time off from his main duties – stewarding the forest – either, as quite a few people may be tempted to steal from the manor’s wooded areas. The gamekeeper’s wife is making a Christmas crown and straw decorations for the holidays.
A farm family’s Christmas
The family of Pulga farm have plenty to do before Christmas. The master of the farm loves carpentry and is making lanterns which come in handy for illuminating farm work both indoors and in the yard in the dark season. The old lady of the house is making white groats sausages – a traditional Estonian Christmas dish. The visiting daughter who works at the manor has stories to tell about the life and habits of those living there.
The parish elder’s holidays
There is a delicious smell of gingerbread seeping in from the kitchen and rustling of paper can be heard from the living room – the parish elder’s family is preparing holiday dishes and packing presents for the poorer members of the community. The entire family is going to hand out presents and food to the less fortunate members of the village to bring them some holiday cheer.
The sauna of Härjapea farm
Christmas in an almshouse
Dumplings are being cooked on open fire in the almshouse, because that’s the best that the residents can afford. Before Christmas, however, the parish elder’s family comes by and surprises the people of the poor family with food and presents. Unfortunately, the purpose of some of the gifts may remain incomprehensible for the recipients.
Aarte fisherman’s farm
Christmas time in a fisherman’s family
Illicit spirit suppliers must carefully pack and hide their gear in the end of the season to avoid getting caught by the border guards and to have them readily available in spring. The men have brought some better stuff from Finland, some of which will be served on the Christmas table with the help of the lady of the house.
The tiny house of worship of the Open Air Museum has been decorated for Christmas, the air is full of the scent of the Christmas tree and candles, and Christmas songs are sung. The pastor’s wife is preparing the church for holiday concerts and for the church service.
Saturday, 15 December
12 p.m. Nõmme Heritage School
1 p.m. Crede Chamber Choir
2 p.m. Tallinn French School Boys’ Choir
Sunday, 16 December
12 p.m. Estonian Academy of Arts Chamber Choir
1 p.m. Mixed Choir Tallinna Saarlaste Segakoor
2 p.m. Noarootsi School introduces St. Lucy’s Day
Lau village shop
Shop lady’s holiday bustle
The tiny village shop is filled with Christmas hustle and bustle. Goods must be shelved and packed, as the shop is expecting plenty of buyers before the holidays. Still, the shop ladies find some time for heated arguments over ladies’ hairstyle fashion. The post office is also open, so everyone can post their Christmas and New Year’s greetings. The shop sells delicious food and gifts for Santa Claus gift bag or for leaving under the Christmas tree.
The schoolmaster’s Christmas
The schoolmaster is teaching holiday songs, rhymes and the Christmas Gospel to the children. In the kitchen, his wife is making a beautiful Christmas crib for the church with the help of children. Everyone gets to join in and make their favourite characters to add to the nativity scene.
Christmas time in Sepa farm
The village smith is hard at work to forge runners for the sled for the trip to church. He also takes time for forging lucky coins. Why don’t you join in and make a real lucky coin as well? The lady of the house and her sister, however, are busy with all sorts of fortune-telling and witchcraft.
In Setu farm and in the Russian house from Lake Peipus, Christmas holidays are celebrated according to the old calendar, on 6 and 7 January. Here, you can join us for the holiday celebrations on 5 January. Nevertheless, both houses open their doors and welcome visitors daily.
The holiday customs of different minorities living in Estonia are introduced in the barn of Setu farm.
In the Russian house from Lake Peipus you can learn about the tea drink traditions of the Old Believers.
Warm and cosy Kolu Inn serves delicious Christmas dishes.
Bring home a Christmas tree – You can purchase a Christmas tree of Estonian origin from the small dwelling called Härmoonikum close to the entrance.
Tickets are available at museum ticket office, at Piletilevi sales points and on Silverticket website.
SPONSORS AND COOPERATION PARTNERS:
The Estonian Maritime Museum Foundation, A le Voq
By car: free parking at the main gate of the museum and at the rear gate car park (about 1 km from the main gate, in the direction of Kakumäe).
Public transport: buses No. 21 and 21b stop at the main gate of the museum (stop Rocca al Mare). Bus No. 22, 42 and 43: get off at the Zoo stop and walk along the seaside road for around 15 minutes. Buses No. 41 and 41b take you back to the city centre. See timetables: soiduplaan.tallinn.ee.