05. 01. 2019
I know it is a bit late, but I think it is time to tell you a bit about the Christmas traditions in Estonia.
My (host)family got a Christmas tree at the 30. December. It was an artificial one, but traditionally people get their Christmas tree later and use a natural one. Apart from that we have chains of lights around our house and my (host)sister’s and my room is decorated with fairy lights. Many other houses – especially in the country side – are decorated with Christmas lights.
In Tartu the main shopping centers are graced with a lot of Christmas lights and the streets in the old town are lit with more of them. On the town hall square is standing a tall Christmas tree decorated with ornaments and lights. Under the Christmas tree is a mail box for Father Christmas and there is a small Christmas market.
A bigger Christmas market is in Tallinn (I visited it two days ago). This one is said to be the most beautiful one in Europe, but that would be an exaggeration. It is hard to hear a word Estonian on the Christmas market in Tallinn, there are mostly tourists and the sellers talk in English and sometimes Russian with their customers. Woollen socks, pullovers, scarves, gloves and hats but also candles, Christmas ornaments and mulled wine can be bought there
I also made gingerbread (piparkoogid) together with my sister; those are the traditional biscuits for Christmas. They are a bit spicier than I know them from Germany and are similar to the Scandinavian ones.
In my school we had a Christmas ball. The teachers from my school had made a short (and quite entertaining) Christmas film and there was some Christmas decoration in other respects it was not much different from a normal ball. I cannot really dance and the dancing lessons before did not help, but I enjoyed itstudents (and teachers) dressed up a bit more festive on our last day of school and we gave each other presents. We only had four lessons and during one of them all students from 10th to 12th grade sang together in the assembly hall. Some of the songs were English ones translated to Estonian, others were Estonian. I did like to sing with all the other students, even though some of them did not strike the right tones and I did not know all the words, the atmosphere was very Christmas like. Later everyone wished each other a happy Christmas and I went home through the snow.
On Christmas Eve we are going to eat together and open some presents. Since most Estonians are not religious Christmas is not as important as in other European countries. Most families do not celebrate Christmas that much; some not at all.
When the snow first fell everyone told me that even in Estonia Christmas is usually without snow, but this year it looks like we are going to have a very white Christmas
Merry Christmas to all of you, may the snow fall unexpectedly today at your place too ٩(^ᴗ^)۶◞✧