MUSEUM'S BIRTHDAY AND SPRING FAIR
May 1, 2017 fair at 10:00 - 16:00, program in farms at 11:00-16:00
In the May of 2017, the Estonian Open Air Museum is celebrating its 60th birthday. The Open Air Museum is more than just a collection of farm houses, yards and old things, there are also many people with their peculiar jobs and doings behind the museum.
Who are the restores/conservators and what are their most exciting projects? How and why is tar burnt? How many winters does one have to attend Kuie School these days? What did peasants do when they needed to use the bathroom? How did the 80 farm buildings end up at the museum? What does living history mean?
The research fellows, conservators, teachers, and curators of the museum are answering these questions and many more at the opening event of the birthday month, which is organised together with a great spring fair this year.
As always, pure and Estonian handicrafts and food products are offered at the fair. A group of musicians are keeping the spirits high and the little ones are entertained by the Polli Zoo.
The great handicraft and food fair on the main road of the museum.
The yard of Sassi-Jaani farm is brimming of dancing, songs, and the sound of musical instruments. The group Leigarid in their colourful folk costumes have already been creating a joyous mood and inviting people to join in their dances for 48 years. On May 1, everyone is dancing, from the honourable ancient Leigars to the tiniest members of the group.
On the threshing floor of Sassi-Jaani, fun films of the activities of the museum can be watched: of the restoration projects, insect studies, and much more.
Köstriaseme farm is taken over by the people from the Centre of Rural Architecture of the museum, who know Estonian farm buildings and the structures of the buildings like the back of their hands. They can tell you how to build a tree branch or stone fence, burn tar, clean and heat the threshing barn stove, peel logs, and restore old doors and windows.
Children get to try their hand at putting together a model threshing barn, log-by-log. Just like the old farm buildings of the museum were built.
At Pulga farm, visitors find themselves right in the middle of living history. In the case of living history, you will never know what kind of a scene you happen to step into and how everything might end. Be brave, invent a role for yourself and take the story of the household of Pulga farm further in your own direction.
It’s 1899, the household is expecting the man of the house to return from a fair. The sauna is already being heated and the lady of the house is anxious to get the meal ready in time. There is even more anxiety in the air, however, as the daughter has invited over the boyfriend of her choice, a poor man’s son, who she intends to introduce to her father. What happens next?
Härjapea farm is the old Estonian food and handicraft centre of the museum. At the farm, bread is baked, food is cooked, embroideries, crochet works, and sewn products are made year-round.
Today, visitors get to step into the kitchen and see, what kind of exciting dishes are being prepared based on recipes from the 1930s. Inside, however, textile conservers are introducing their finest as well as most mundane pieces of work.
Lau village shop
In the premises of the Lau village shop, visitors get to meet the conservation teams of the Conservation Centre Kanut and of the Open Air Museum. What are their most wondrous works? How to protect objects from mould? Is it a good idea to use superglue to fix your Grandma’s broken antique vase?
Kuie School serves as the educational centre of the museum. The schoolyear runs almost year-round here and in addition to teaching to read and write, calculate, and the religion, the old village school also offers fun folk calendar programmes, song games, farm work classes, and many more exciting activities.
On the museum’s birthday, all visitors are welcome to step into a school day of the years gone by, where they are greeted by the headmistress according to the rules, commands, and restrictions, which applied in the old day.
A Russification lesson from the end of the 19th century is taught on each hour and a regular peasant school lesson from the beginning of the 20th century on each half-hour.
The new friend of the Open Air Museum – a hedgehog – can be made in the kitchen.
An army of men have come together at the Sepa farm. The museum is just one large village, which must have its own blacksmith, shoemaker, and carpenter. The men at Sepa farm are happy to help out those in need for a forged nail or those who would like to have an old chair repaired with a bit of bone glue. Kriuks King (Squeaky Shoe), the shoemaker, is telling and showing how fancy high boots and delicate shoes are made by hand.
Children get to make wooden magnets with the new family insignia of the museum.
Bustling fair in front of Kolu inn.
At 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., performances of the folk musical instrument group of the Estonian Open Air Museum, who have gathered from all over the country to learn new pieces from one another. Dearly loved Estonian dance music from the 19th century to this day.
At 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., catchy dance music by the men from Viru-Nigula, which is guaranteed to make all hearts beat faster! The men are singing folk songs from the years gone by, spiced with jokes and jesting. The boys from the famous coast of Muhu Island have reserved a special place for sailor songs!
3:00 p.m., Grand auction with a visit to the smoke sauna of the museum, a 5 o’clock tea at the Russian house from Peipus, dahlias from the farm yard, and many other fascinating offerings available!
Don’t forget to visit the inn to have a meal and a refreshing beverage!
By the Nätsi windmill, the Polli Zoo is entertaining the tiniest visitors. Visitors get to see rabbits and goats and ride ponies.
*Beginning from the entry to the museum
At 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., a little house on feet or how does a building end up at the museum? Curator Aile Heidmets
At 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., The walk of Legends. Research Secretary, Maret Tamjärv.
At 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., “They only washed their faces once a week?!” on the personal hygiene of Estonian peasants. Research Director, Heiki Pärdi
*Beginning from the collections building (next to the car park in the back)
At 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., Exclusive tours to the collections of the museum with the Chief Collections Manager Elvi Nassar.
By car: free parking at the museum main gate car park and at the rear car park (about 1 km from the main gate in the direction of Kakumäe).
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