Estonian traditions

Estonians – the nation of neo-Pagans?

Anna-Maria Zarembok asks whether the neo-Paganism, not Christianity, is the true religion of Estonia. The Estonian capital city of Tallinn is known to have kept the best condition of medieval structures from the thirteenth century. Despite Estonia’s well-maintained churches and other medieval tourist attractions, Estonia is considered to be one of the …

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Easter in Estonia – cleaning, predicting the weather and painting eggs

Estonia may be one of the least religious countries in the world, but when it comes to religious holidays, Estonians generally give the nod or combine it with one of their own folk traditions.* Easter, commemorating the crucifixion and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus – a Jewish preacher and religious leader who …

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Estonians celebrate Shrove Tuesday by eating whipped cream buns

Known in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Canada as “Pancake Tuesday”, Estonians celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Vastlapäev instead – and tons of buns with whipped cream are consumed.* As elsewhere, this movable festival is determined by Easter and originates from the Christian calendar. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word “shrive”, meaning “absolve”, and its …

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Estonian knitting in the Netherlands and the knitting seamen

In modern Estonia, (folk) traditions are still valued in both the country and city life. It’s therefore intriguing to discover that apart from the Estonians carrying out their own traditions, there are also others who carry out these Estonian traditions. Dutch Knitters Among these traditions are the Estonian handicrafts: ceramics, …

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PICTURES: The French photographer exploring Estonia’s fringe communities

The Paris-based photographer, Jérémie Jung, has been exploring the traditions of the Estonian regions of Setomaa and Kihnu island to try and better understand the people and their communities.  Since 2011, Jung has completed a number of projects focusing on Estonia and its fringe societies. The 35-year-old has made images of the …

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VIDEO: In Estonia, extreme swinging does not mean a sexual practice…

The extreme form of Estonian swinging has developed into a sport, called kiiking. Invented by Ado Kosk in the 1990s, kiiking derives from the Estonian language word kiik, which means “swing”. Swinging has been a part of the Estonian village culture for hundreds of years. It has entertained the young and the …

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