Estonian town of Tartu to open a “Christmas village”

Tartu, Estonia’s second largest town, aspires to create the country’s most beautiful Christmas market.

Called “Village of Light”, this year’s Christmas market in Tartu will cover half of the Town Hall Square and visitors can expect “exciting programmes” and lighting solutions, the town’s local government said in a statement.

The “Village of Light”, that will have 19 pavilions, is being completed in cooperation with design and fashion students from the Estonian Academy of Arts.

“For our part, we are doing everything to make sure that the village is the cosiest meeting place in Tartu during the holiday period – where one can take a closer look at the various pavilions, enjoy a cup of coffee or warm their hands by the bonfire,” Raido Laasi, a lecturer at the art university, said in a statement.

Tartu “Christmas village” in 2018. Photo by Kiur Kaasik.

Light installations

The Tartu-based Light Club, an NGO and the organiser of the Tartu Architectural Lighting and Light Art Festival, helps with lighting.

“One of this year’s most exciting lighting solutions is the mirror green house, which is transformed into a shining spider web with the help of ultraviolet lights and mirrors,” the municipal government added. Another highlight is the special light installation for the solstice. The author of both installations is Elo Liiv.

Tartu Town Hall’s bell pictured during Christmas season in 2018. The image is illustrative. Photo by Raido Prosa.

Tartu is home to 94,000 people. Situated 186 kilometres (116 miles) southeast of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, Tartu hosts the country’s most important university, the University of Tartu. In 2024, the town will be one of the three towns (the other two are Bad Ischl from Austria and Bodø from Norway) that will bear the title of the European Capital of Culture.

Tartu’s “Village of Light” will open on 1 December at 5pm, along with the lighting of the city’s Christmas lights and the first Advent candle.

Cover: Tartu Christmas village in 2018 (Facebook).

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