June 23, 2019 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Throughout history, Midsummer’s Eve has been one of the most important and joyful holidays for Estonians. This is the time when the Nature is at its most potent, and thousands of bonfires are lit all over the country to celebrate the onset of the summer and attract good luck. Midsummer bonfires have always been lit in Estonian villages regardless of the weather or political system, in good and trying times alike.
In 2019, the Midsummer festivities at the Estonian Open Air Museum will take visitors back in time to three landmark years which heralded new beginnings. The celebrations to look for are the 1869 village party which features the commune male choir preparing to go to the first ever Estonian Song Festival in Tartu; the 1919 midsummer charity event organised to raise aid for soldiers wounded in the Estonian War of Independence; and a party in the early summer of 1995, where, like in the West, everything is for sale!
There will be performances by “Untsakad”, “The Tuberkuloited”, Nancy, “Lüü-Türr”, “Pritsu Brass” and “Leigarid”!
The procession to light Midsummer bonfires starts at the main gate at 19:00. Bonfires will be lit on the Swing Square, Village Square and Kerase Square.
Swing Square – dance stage
Singing, dancing, laughing and joking have always been an integral part of Midsummer Eve celebrations. Everyone can enjoy all of it on the Swing Square to the music played by the charming band “Untsakad” and by manly men of the “Lüü-Türr” group. If you get tired from dancing, there is a marvellous sea view and warmth of the bonfire to enjoy.
7:45 p.m. “Lüü-Türr”
9 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m. “Untsakad”
11.45 p.m. The meeting of Dawn and Twilight
Härjapea Farm yard – 1919 Midsummer charity event organised to raise aid for soldiers wounded in the Estonian War of Independence
7.30 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Decisive battles of the War of Independence are raging in Latvia. News travels fast: Estonian troops have claimed a remarkable victory near Võnnu! Unfortunately, this victory is tarnished with losses… Together, the Estonian Association of Injured Soldiers and the Firefighters’ Association of Mäetaguse Commune have initiated the organisation of a charity event to raise donations for aiding injured or fallen soldiers while the visitors enjoy sketches, performances, speeches, tests of strength and lively music by brass band “Pritsu Brass”.
Village Square – 1869 village party: seeing off the participants of the Estonian Song Festival
7.45 p.m. – 11 p.m.
This coastal commune people have gathered to celebrate the departure of their small but brave male choir towards Tartu. The first ever Estonian Song Festival is approaching, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the abolition of serfdom in Livonia. The village folk are excited. Women are decorating the cart, and the choir is practicing songs for the festival, suggesting that others join in. The local song and music society starts playing and dancing old and new dances to make sure that those who are going away to the song festival remember this evening.
Contribution to the village celebration will be made by the folk art association “Leigarid” and the band “Lüü-Türr”.
Kerase Square – Midsummer celebration of 1995
7.45 p.m. – 11 p.m.
The independence of Estonia has been restored, and the hardest years of transition have passed. Both Western pop culture and goods have found their way here. First night club, concert tours, new tastes, Western fashion and fast cars make people’s heads spin. New disco stars and socialites are popping up like mushrooms.
The Midsummer party of 195 on Kerase Square featured new names and faces: Nancy and “The Tuberkuloited”. Enthusiastic hosts organise hilarious games. There is a contest to determine the strongest security worker, and a pageant to choose the sexiest secretary. Plenty of fun for children, too!
8 p.m. Nancy
9.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. The Tuberkuloited
Events on farms:
7 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.
Grass has grown tall by Midsummer... On Köstriaseme Farm, the farmwife will show you how to make hay and teach to wield the scythe.
The smell of something sweet is flowing from the kitchen! What is going on there?
To celebrate Midsummer, the farmwife is baking traditional curd cheese patties.
Sauna on Härjapea Farm
Going to the sauna on Midsummer Eve is a long-standing tradition. Rolling in the grass wet with dew afterwards was supposed to ensure good health for the whole upcoming year. in the yard of Härjapea Farm, the farmer’s daughters will heat the smoke sauna and make birch sauna whisks. The whisks made at Midsummer have the best healing properties!
Barn-dwelling on Roosta Farm
The sister of the farmwife on Roosta Farm has come to visit, and the women spend the evening, telling stories about all kinds of magical Midsummer creatures, fortune-telling and spells. Do you know how to tell the fortune?
Yard of Jüri-Jaagu Farm
Swinging on the large village swing is the young crowd’s favourite entertainment at Midsummer. So-called “swing masters” would get gifts of butter, eggs and colourful ribbons. The farmwife will tell the visitors about swinging traditions and teach them to weave a simple ribbon.
Kolga Farm – children’s playground
On Midsummer Eve, children, too, are allowed to be up until dawn and have fun. In the yard of Kolga Farm, there will be games and other entertainment for the youngest family members.
Island net sheds
Gorgeous view of Kopli Bay, good wine, a brush and easel – it cannot get more romantic. Come here to paint the enchanting seascape on paper while sipping delicious wine.
The Midsummer night breathes with magic and mystery. Out come creatures you will not be likely to meet at any other time. They say you can even come across some buried treasure! And, if you make an effort to look for it, you might even find a fern blossom. Come and see all the mysterious events around the watermill!
Lau village shop
The village shop is inviting all the good people to come along and see the new choice of goods. If you want to, you can buy something useful for the household or just grab a bite.
In old times, when there were no ball pens or markers, one would have to make do with ink and an ink pen at school. Come to try writing in ink and see how pretty your handwriting would be in the times of the Russian Empire!
Various dairy produce was made in time for Midsummer Eve because it was just around this time that cows gave the fattest milk after feeding on juicy grass. The farmwife on Sepa Farm is busy churning butter.