St. Catherine’s Day
November 25, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In the Estonian folk calendar St. Catherine’s Day marks the beginning of indoor activities. Women as well as men dressed in beautiful white clothes, with their cheeks painted red with beetroot go trick-or-treating, i.e. collecting gifts in return for songs and blessings.
Farm folk know well that on St. Catherine’s Day the trick-or-treaters go from farm to farm mainly to investigate how good progress have the women been making with their chores and handicraft. They also wish kind family luck and good health. The lady and girls of the family try their best to show their effort to the visitors. The wool processing works need to be finished in order to weave fabric and knit socks and gloves for the family.
The young St. Catherine’s Day beggars can undergo a training at the village school where true trick-or-treaters’ manners are learned. Why does St. Catherine’s Day beggar go from door to door? What songs does he sing? What does he ask from the family and what does he wish to them? A certificate is given to all the good students that can be used to go to the Pulga farm for trick-or-treating practice.
In the kitchen, the wife of the schoolmaster is teaching how to make a woollen lamb. St. Catherine’s Day beggars bring above all sheep fortune.
Lau Village Shop
St. Catherine’s Day beggars start to curse and swear if they are not let in or if they don’t receive any gifts. You can purchase sweet candy from the shop lady to give as a gift to the beggars or enjoy yourself.
Pulga farm is filled with hustle and bustle since St. Catherine’s Day beggars are getting ready to go trick-or-treating. The participants agree on which role someone is going to play, adorn themselves, make vocal exercises and rehearse songs. St. Catherine’s family is looking for new members so everyone can join them. In the kiln room the housewife is teaching how to braid plaits for St. Catherine’s beggar’s costume.
Sauna of Kutsari farm
The family of a cottager is waiting for the trick-or-treaters to visit so that they would bring sheep fortune for the next year. The diligent housewife is busy working by the open fire and the cottager is reminding how St. Catherine’s Day was celebrated when he was young.
There is a boiled chicken on the table, the bones have to be buried into the sheep barn later – grandmother has told that this is the way how lambs ought to gather flesh.
Can you hear the trick-or-treaters behind the door already?
The girls from Võide village have read from the newspaper Maaleht sensational stories about how St. Catherin’s Day is celebrated in Paris. Can you imagine – on this day French ladies wear beautiful but bizarre hats and kiss the bypassing men. Following their example the St. Catherine’s Day carnival night at the local club will be held in French style. Now everyone has gathered to the Härjapea farm to make wonderful hats to wear at the carnival. The housewife is baking cookies in the kitchen to offer to the visitors.
The Folk Circle Veerik from the Music House of Old Town invites everyone to join the song games at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. On the walls one can admire the St. Catherine’s Day masks made by the Haabersti district kindergartens. Everyone can vote for their favourite. At 2.30 p.m. the funniest mask wins the prize.
Kolu Inn offers delicious St. Catherine’s Day dishes.