December 17 - 18, 2016, at 11-16
The time when the steps of the day are shortest has arrived. The sun has barely risen above the horizon when it starts to prepare for returning to bed, wrapping roads and yards in silent dusk. On Christmas night, however, there is no shortage of light – candles are left burning all through the night to show the loved ones their way home, to invite the souls of the ancestors to visit and to repel evil and misfortune. Even though tougher freeze and harder blizzards are yet to come, there is an unwavering hope and knowledge concealed in the darkest time of winter: from now on, the day will be step-by-step becoming longer!
At the Estonian Open Air Museum, lit windows of the holiday season are inviting visitors from near and far to step in and partake in the Christmas story of an Estonian village from a century ago.
Sassi-Jaani farm – the time of giving
All those looking for presents will find a small Christmas fair on the threshing floor of Sassi-Jaani farm, which offers domestic handicrafts spiced with the warmth of heart!
In the summer kitchen, the winter cold is dispelled with warm tea prepared on open fire by members of the Society of the Friends of Estonian Open Air Museum!
Köstriaseme farm – the time for songs and games
When the dark days arrived, the peasants finally got to undertake indoor activities, but songs and games could not be fully enjoyed before the great holidays! People from the farm and from further away would gather on the threshing floor to sing songs. The lady of the farm is making a special decoration characteristic to Lääne County – a kräss.
Lau village shop – the time for good wishes
It’s a busy time at the shop before Christmas. No one interested of presents or festive goods should leave empty-handed. The village shop offers a wide selection of colonial goods, sweets and Christmas stuff. Christmas cards and stamps can also be bought to post hearty Christmas wishes on the spot.
Old-time Christmas decorations are made under the hand of Poe-Liisi in the living room of the village shop.
Kuie school building – a festive time
Christmas party preparations are being made at the school. Since holding Christmas parties is still a new custom in rural areas, the expectation is especially high – it’s the first time for quite a few of the children to see a beautifully decorated Christmas tree!
The teacher is practicing accompanying Christmas carols on a harmonium and is delighted if the visitors join in with the singing! It is also planned to watch “moving pictures” at the Christmas party and everyone can help make toys for children for the Christmas party.
Sepa farm – the time of light
A tiny Christmas candle was lit even in the poorest and smallest farms. The lady of Sepa farm is making lamb fat candles so that there would be light during the long holidays.
Härjapea farm – the time for love
The Christmas of 1938 is full of excitement – in addition to the holiday, there is also a wedding coming! Aino has lit a flame in the heart of Elmar and the holiday season is filled with pre-wedding bustle and festive spirit. Festive delicacies and holiday dishes are cooking in the kitchen.
Pulga farm – the time for the family
In the olden days, it was believed that a candle had to be left lit in the house even when the family went to church, as the Devil could not get into lit rooms. Food was left on the table for the entire night for the souls returning home while the family was comfortably resting on the chaff. The family of Pulga farm will be spending their Christmas playing fun games and feasting on their festive dishes nine times during the night.
Nulli-Maie’s sauna at Härjapea-Kutsari farm – the time of miracles and magic
The sauna lady Nulli-Maie knows that Christmas night and the holiday season are a good time for all sorts of fortune telling and magic. Nulli-Maie is greeting visitors in her humble abode and sharing her wisdom even with those who might not have faith in superstitious customs in the light of day.
Sutlepa chapel – a solemn time
Get into the joyous Christmas spirit with beautiful choir singing concerts
On Saturday, at 12, 1.30 and 3 PM
On Sunday, at 12 and 1.30 PM
Christmas prayer at 3 PM on Sunday, December 18. Service held by Rev. Toomas Paul
Kolu inn – the time of abundance
Kolu inn is offering delicious festive dishes for refreshment!
The life of the setos can be glimpsed at in Vanatalo farm and the life on the shore of Lake Peipus in the Pechonkin’s House of the Old Believers. In these places, Christmas is still celebrated based on the old calendar, thus, we will not be celebrating Christmas at these farms before the 7th of January! See more here.
By car: free parking at the museum main gate car park and the rear gate car park.
Public transport: buses 21 and 21B stop at the museum’s main gate (stop Rocca al Mare). Or take bus 22, 42, 43 and get off at the Zoo stop; the museum is a 15 minute walk away along the seaside road. Back to the city centre takes bus nr 41 or 41B. For public transport timetables, visit soiduplaan.tallinn.ee
City Tour: blue route buses stop by the museum’s main gate. Times: www.citytour.ee
Folklore ensemble Leigarid, Society of the Friends of Estonian Open Air Museum, AS Haljas, A le Coq