Family Shrovetide. Shrovetide Olympics, whatever the weather!

  • Adult fee 8 €

    Discount fee 6 €

    Family fee 16 €

23 February 2020 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Estonians have been keen on winter sporting activities throughout history. While our ancestors would go sledging, tobogganing, skating or skiing down slopes believing this would ensure a good harvest of linen in the coming year, now gathering for a day of winter sports is about putting one’s strength and endurance to the test.


This year, the Estonian Open Air Museum will give every visitor an opportunity to feel like a true Olympics hero! 23 February is when the World Shrovetide Olympic Games will be held for the first time ever! All the sports equipment you might need will be provided by the Olympic Village. What the participants will have to do is dress for the weather and just feel competitive. The athletes who have completed the events in all the sports will receive medals on the podium. However, those who cherish old traditions will not be disappointed: the Shrovetide Olympics feature plenty of sledging, doing plaits, spinner spinning, chasing a ball of rags and enjoying drinks.



Hää äri store – Warm up your bones!

No proper Olympic athlete would start competing without a warm-up. As you get the Shrovetide spinner made of pig bones to spin, you will be warming up your bones, too. In addition, its humming is believed to chase away evil spirits and dispel the envy of other competitors.


Sassi-Jaani farm – Rag ball hockey

One of the most popular events of Winter Olympics is ice hockey. If you play it using a rag ball Estonians call ‘kada’, which traditionally had to be chased away and banished from one’s land, no dirt, trouble or poverty will be able to stick to you in the year ahead.


Köstriaseme farm – Ski jumping (for long linen)

To make sure that linen grows properly long in the summer, and fabric for long shirts, not crop tops, can be made in the coming year, one must try to make a ski jump as long as possible.


Pulga farm – Wolf-shooting biathlon

To make sure pigs cannot run away from your herd in the summer, you have to be especially swift on skis during Shrovetide. A swineherd had better display accuracy, too, in case you need to use a slingshot to fire at the wolf pestering your pigs.


Härjapea farm – Figure skating moves

In old times, Estonians believed it was especially important to comb one’s hair many times on Shrove Tuesday to make it grow long and strong, but, for a figure skater, this is virtually a daily chore. On Härjapea farm, the competing athlete will first have to do world’s longest figure skater’s plait and then perform beautiful pirouettes.


Nätsi windmill – Cotter bobsleigh and Seto slalom skiing

Sledging is a must on Shrove Tuesday and in Shrovetide Olympics alike! Sometimes you have to glide over a hill, and at other times you need to avoid trees on your way down the slope, but having a good slide is most important in any case!


Lau shop – Doping station

The fairer sex traditionally enjoyed red-coloured liquor and other drinks on Shrove Tuesday to make their cheeks glow and health endure. Some Olympic athletes are known to have been using doping to get a head start, and Lau shop is the place where you will find the red beverages to give you strength and put some colour in your cheeks.


Kuie school – Award ceremony

At the Olympic flame, the revered Olympic Committee will total up the athletes’ results and award medals to the winners.




Activities on the farms

February 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Fun Shrove celebration going at Sepa farmyard. Housewife invites everyone to take pigs to the woods, so in the new year pigs would stay in the herd and makes everyone go skiing, the longer distance you ski  the better flax will grow.


Housewife teaches how to spin whirligig spinners from pig bones and make windmill from cardboard at  the Kuie school kitchen.


The Härjapea farm housewife prepares Shrove sweets according to year 1933 recipe and offers red drink to make cheeks blush all year.


At Lau village shop you can braid beautiful blue-black-white ribbon instructed by sales assistant and also find something good to serve at the Independence Day celebration table.


There are Shrove week activities at Setu farm and russian house from Peipus. Pancakes are baked and future is being predicted.


Kolu inn prepares delicious Shrove dishes for everyone.




Activities on the farms

February 25 from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Sassi-Jaani farmyard

To make the most of the holiday, come and play funny Shrove Tuesday games in the Sassi-Jaani farmyard: drive a bundle of rags (kada) out of the village, or roll the pigs (round pieces of wood) out into the field.


Köstriaseme farm

Flax plays the most important role in Shrove Tuesday customs – people go sledding and the one with the longest slide can expect the growth of the most beautiful flax fibre in the following summer. The Köstriaseme folks will tell you what a flax plant looks like, how linen thread is made, and why it is so important to work at it.


Härjapea farm

The Härjapea housewife follows the recipes from the 1930s to make delicious desserts with lots of butter and cream (in olden days, people used to consume a lot of these before the Lent).

The daughters of the family introduce the most popular beauty tips of the time – after all, Shrove Tuesday is a women’s holiday.


Nätsi windmill

In cold weather one has to move to keep the body warm. You can go in for winter sports in the old Estonian way.


Sepa farm

Spinning was not allowed on Shrove Tuesday, as otherwise the pigs would not stay in the herd. However, women could braid ribbons and go to the tavern. The Sepa housewife has started to braid ribbons and she is more than happy to teach the visitors as well. Additionally, she will tell stories of how Shrove Tuesday was celebrated in the olden days.


Kuie School

In the dining room, the schoolmaster’s family teaches how to make whirligig spinners from pig bones and cardboard. In the classroom, the schoolmistress entertains you with Shrove Tuesday quizzes


Lau village shop offers red drink that makes women stay fresh and healthy all year round.


Kolu inn prepares delicious Shrove dishes for everyone.




By car: free parking at the main gate of the museum.

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: