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23.06.22
Events

Midsummer's Eve.  Book in the village, village in the book.

Adult fee 19 €
Discount fee 14 €
Family fee 38 €

23 June 2022 from 19.00 to 00.00


Midsummer, especially Midsummer eve, is the time of magic and mystery. This is when our folk stories about the ‘Old Devil’ known as Vanapagan, about a cauldron of coins and the fern flower are usually set. Over time, the stories were collected and written down in books. This year is the Year of Libraries in Estonia, and the Open Air Museum is joining the celebrations by focusing its Midsummer events on literature, books and stories. While you explore the museum grounds, you might find yourself celebrating the Year of Estonian Books in 1935 or the 100th anniversary of the birth of A. H. Tammsaare. You can also listen to the stories turned into songs and performed by the Kukerpillid ensemble or enjoy the performance of the Estonian folk music group Leigarid, which is there to create the authentic rural Midsummer eve atmosphere for you.

In addition, there will be plenty of fun for everyone: making wreaths or a magical household helper called kratt, playing children’s games, having a look at what’s inside the sauna, having your future told, listening to fairy tales, or learning how to churn butter.


Main gate

19.00 Procession to light Midsummer bonfires

The procession to light Midsummer bonfires starts at the main gate at 19.00. Bonfires will be lit in the Village Square and Swing Square.


Swing Square

They say once there is a song about you, you will stay in it forever. So, in a way, we can regard songs as books that preserve tales and stories for future generations. This is exactly the type of songs performed by everyone’s favourite, the Kukerpillid ensemble, which is celebrating 50 years of singing since it was founded this year.

Come to the Swing Square to enjoy the bonfire, folk dancing, and music by Kukerpillid!

At 20.00 and 21.45: folk dance group Viikingid (Norway)

At 21.00, 22.00, 23.00: Kukerpillid

At 23.45 The meeting of Dawn and Twilight

 

Village Square – village Midsummer bonfire

In the 19th century, the Midsummer bonfire was the gathering place for people from all the neighbouring farms, who would spend Midsummer eve dancing, singing, and playing games. Young people were the ones to have the most fun, but the old would also gather to sit by the fire. Physical education and folk dancing teacher Anna Raudkats collected folk games and dances, publishing them in her book ‘Estonian folk dances’ in 1926 and writing a number of game anthologies between 1924 and 1933.


We need to thank Raudkats for us being able to enjoy folk dancing and games today. The performance of the singers, dancers, and musicians of the Estonian folk music group Leigarid will certainly create the authentic atmosphere of Midsummer eve in the countryside.

 

Kolkhoz apartment building– 1978, Tammsaare 100

In 1978, it is the 100th anniversary of the birth of A. H. Tammsaare, a classic of Estonian literature. To celebrate the occasion, the kolkhoz is holding a poetry and writing contest, and its best submissions will be performed at the kolkhoz Midsummer celebration. The residents of the Sookuru apartment building are having their own Midsummer party, performing sketches, strongman tricks and gymnastics, marvelling at the neighbour’s new car and dancing to the music by the village chapel choir.

At 20.00 and 22.00: chapel choir Möllav Meri.

If you are hungry, masters of shashlik will be at you service, and draught kvass will be available.

 

Kuie school – 1935, the Year of Estonian Books

In 1935, it is 400 years since Wanradt-Koell Catechism, the first book in Estonian, was published. The Year of Estonian Books features a number of events, including a writer’s presentation of his first book in the school building. To celebrate the occasion, the local library society has staged a play titled ‘Vaikus lärmitseb’ (Silence makes noise) and invited local musicians to play at the event.


Events on our farms

Jüri-Jaagu farm – making wreaths and going to the sauna

To prepare for the celebration, one has to have a thorough wash and wear something nice. Folk wisdom says you are supposed to be done with your sauna before the sun sets, and no evil or misfortune will be able to touch you. Wildflowers picked during the day would be used for various purposes: making a wreath, placing under your pillow, or using nine kinds of flowers in your sauna whisks to tell the future.

The dwellers of Jüri-Jaagu farm will be busy preparing for Midsummer eve: girls will be making wreaths, and the farm hand will be making sauna whisks and heating the sauna.

 

Roosta farm – folk tales and songs

Before writing systems were invented, wisdom was passed from generation to generation through oral tradition in tales and songs. People would sing as they worked, cutting crops or herding cattle, and at leisure or during important life events. Songs accompanied swinging and games, weddings, and funerals.

The womenfolk of the farm will gather in the chamber to tell fairy tales about a cauldron of coins, about the fern flower and other mystical things. Music and old Midsummer songs can be heard in between the stories. Storytelling sessions start at 19.15, 19.45, 20.15, 20.45, 21.15 and 21.45.

Kolga farm – fortune-telling and shepherd games

Midsummer eve is the time of magic, proper time for fortune-telling and all kinds of witchcraft. Go to the sauna on Kolga farm, where the farmwife’s sister will tell you what awaits ahead.

In the yard, you can see shepherd boys playing games and try these yourself: walking on stilts, passing under a low bar or ‘lifting a bag of salt’.

 

Sepa farm – churning butter

Starting at Easter, dairy products would remain on the table throughout spring and would be served at Midsummer next to the bonfire, after milk was carefully gathered over the week before. It is believed that cows give the tastiest milk around this time.

Cream can be skimmed from milk and turned into butter. You can see how butter is churned on Sepa farm.

 

Härjapea farm – cooking with curd cheese

The smell of something sweet is flowing from the kitchen – the farmwife is baking traditional curd cheese patties, using a recipe from the latest issue of Taluperenaine magazine.

 

Köstriaseme talu – making a kratt

In Estonian folklore, a kratt is a magical being, a household helper whose main function is to bring things home to its master. But you should be very careful when making a kratt and bringing it to life, or you might end up in the same predicament as master Hans, the main character of a book by Andrus Kivirähk. The farmwife on Köstriaseme farm will teach you how to make a proper kratt for your household.

 

Sassi-Jaani farm, Pulga farm, Setu farm and the Russian house from Peipus will also be open. All the farms on the museum grounds are open until 22.30.

Make sure to come by Kolu Inn and Lau shop as well!


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