Rumour has it that in 1441 the world’s Christmas tree tradition also started at the very spot in Town Hall Square where the present tree stands. Originally though, it formed part of a right of passage for the town’s eligible bachelors who would dance around the tree with Tallinn’s fair maidens. Following a centuries-old tradition, the tree is lit ablaze at a special event which takes place after the end of Christmas season.
Tallinn Christmas MarketThis year the market itself is smaller and more compact and for a shorter time, but the cultural program can be enjoyed all over the Old Town. There are fewer Christmas kiosks than usual, but they are arranged in such a way that the health requirements established during the season of the pandemic can be met. Hot drinks will be served until 22:00, Fridays and Saturdays until 23:00.
This year, the 'Cultural Kiosk' will open its doors for the first time, offering gems from Estonian culture. The Kiosk features books by Estonian authors, music on CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records, and design art from earrings to face masks. Many books and records are signed by the authors.
As always, the Christmas market has a Santa Claus cabin, and a mailbox awaiting letters and gift wishes to Santa Claus. Santa Claus himself is arriving this year in a particularly modern way – as a hologram!
The Window Gallery sets itself up on Pikk Street – from 29 November to 10 January, you can see the works and installations of Estonian active artists and art students in the shop windows, which will help you discover the Old Town in an entirely new way.
Cultural events are scattered this year.
Within the framework of the project 'Living Windows', Viru Street will come to life – Estonian professional musicians and dancers will perform for an hour on the empty shop windows.
The installation 'Invisible Spruce' is on display in St. Catherine’s Church from 29 November until the Epiphany.
At the beginning of the Advent period, Vene Street becomes an exhibition of Christmas mangers – both local schoolchildren and adults display their Christmas mangers on the windows of Vene Street. The largest Christmas manger is traditionally located in the courtyard of Peter and Paul Cathedral (Catholic Church).