Enjoy a traditional Midsummer Eve in Estonian Open Air museum

In the shortest night of the year, bonfires are lit in gorgeous places and their light is gleaming all over the land. No one may miss the Midsummer Day’s bonfire, otherwise they’ll be haunted by laziness and drowsiness for the whole year; those who fail to show up by the swing in Midsummer Day will be fading away at home and moulding by the fence. Tah tis why Estonian Open Air museum in Tallinn invites everyone to participate in Midsummmer Eve celebration.

This year, an international heritage festival Baltica is taking place all over Estonia around Midsummer Day. The Midsummer Day’s party at the Estonian Open Air Museum is one of the many heritage parties on Midsummer Day this year and here are some of the events, which will happen in the museum on this day.

7:00 p.m. The Midsummer Day’s bonfire lighting procession starts from the main gate. Bonfires are lit by the stage by Nätsi windmill, on the swinging ground and on the village green. 

Nätsi windmill stage

7:10 p.m. Lighting of the Midsummer Day bonfire

7:20 p.m. Men’s folk song ensemble Lüü-Türr perform

8:30 p.m. Heritage festival Baltica 2016 presents: Ukrainian folk song ensemble Rozhanytsia

9:30 and 10:30 p.m. POSÕ perform

The village green

From 7:45 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The striped skirts of women are in a bright whirl and the white socks of men lost in a joyful romp of dance and play. The folk art ensemble Leigarid would like to invite you to a village party. In the rhythm of games, dancing and swinging, the evening is spent just like the Midsummer Day parties in the end of the 19th century.

Roosta farm

From 7:00 p.m. to 11 p.m.

At Roosta farm, Midsummer Day as one of the most important holidays of the year is celebrated following the old customs. People used to visit their family on Midsummer Day, prepare filling festive dishes of curd and butter, slaughter a sheep, and brew festive beer. Before gathering around the bonfire, they used to thoroughly wash themselves in the sauna. The people of the house gathered around the bonfire to eat, dance and play, even the animals were brought along. The youths of the family usually later joined other young people of the village at the village bonfire to swing and have fun. Midsummer Day’s night was also a good time for fortune-telling and witchcraft on the field.

Jüri-Jaagu farm

From 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Swinging is an intrinsic pastime for Estonians and Midsummer Day was the day when the young came together by the village swing. The boys set the swing up in a clear and spacious field and, to show their gratitude, the girls who came brought the builders woven ribbons, butter or eggs. All visitors are welcome to Jüri-Jaagu farm to weave a ribbon so they’d have something to take to the swing.

Before important festivities, Estonians used to thoroughly bathe themselves. The people of the house are heating the sauna and making birch bath whisks, which come out especially great if made around the Midsummer Day. Those who have a moment can test their skills and strength.

At 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., trips to the forest to pick midsummer flowers and make wreaths. The gathering point is by the sauna of Jüri-Jaagu farm.

In the barn-dwelling of Jüri-Jaagu farm, there is an exhibition introducing old wedding customs, in the fish storehouse, a film can be watched on the same topic.

Setu farm

Heritage festival Baltica 2016 presents: at 9:45 p.m., traditional Ukrainian song and dance workshop with ensemble Rozhanytsia.

Köstriaseme farm

Ancient Estonians believed the hay that was made before Midsummer Day to be especially filling. Those who still had hay-making to do made sure they let their scythes ring on that day. The lady of Köstriaseme farm is telling stories about manual hay-making.

Kolu Inn

Kolu Inn welcomes all partygoers and is looking forward to seeing everyone step in, rest their feet and taste the delicious festive dishes.

The museum farms are open for visitors from 10:00 to 22:30.

Midsummer Day bonfires are lit by Nätsi windmill, on the village green and on the swinging ground.

Delicious Midsummer Day dishes are served in Kolu Inn, by Reval Catering by the stage by Nätsi windmill, by Roosa Pipar on the village green and by Amps on the swinging ground. A Mamm&Frukt wine area is also be opened by the net sheds!

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