Tartu to open a “Christmas city”

Tartu, Estonia’s second largest city, will open an ice-skating rink, aquarium, a poetry bank and an ice cream pavilion at its Town Hall Square before Christmas.

The festive season in Tartu will get a proper start on 16 November, with the placement of the Christmas tree at the city’s Town Hall Square. The “village of light” – the traditional Christmas market in Tartu – will open on 28 November, on the first Advent Sunday.

The Christmas market will feature traditional coffee and gingerbread vendors, sleigh rides and ponies, the classic straw house, an animated film pavilion, fire cauldrons and wooden animal carousels.

In addition, the market this year offers new entertainment facilities. There will be an aquarium, built in cooperation with the Limnology Centre of the Estonian University of Life Sciences, inhabited by fish from Estonian rivers and lakes. There will also be a poetry bank, an ATM machine that issues poems instead of cash, and the University of Tartu Observatory’s Mars rover house.

Tartu’s Christmas village in 2018. Photo by Kiur Kaasik.

Individual glass pavilions at the market will be furnished by theatre artist Laura Pählapuu, artist and designer Martin Rästa and the children of the Tartu branch of the Estonian School of Architecture.

People can keep themselves warm by ice-skating at the purpose-built ice rink – or if they’re too warm, enjoy an ice cream at an ice cream pavilion.

The pavilions of the “village of light” will be open from 28 November to 9 January. The ice-skating rink will remain open until the end of February.

Cover: Tartu’s Christmas market. Photo by Mana Kaasik.

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