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Jõulud – Christmas in Estonia

Rõõmsaid jõulupühi ja head uut astat!!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Christmas – Jõulud in Estonia is very rich and multidimensional. This multidimensionality is directly connected with Estonia’s cultural diversity but also with the changes that have occurred within the country. Christmas in Estonia is celebrated by Lutherans, Orthodox, Catholics, and atheists. Many families celebrate Christmas twice – Lutheran holidays, and Orthodox holidays celebrated two weeks later. For Christians these are days of joy, peace and spending time with the family.

Lutherans and Catholics celebrate Christmas Eve on the 24th of December and Christmas from 25th to the 27th of December. Orthodox on the other hand celebrated Christmas Eve on the 7th of January and Christmas on the 8th and the 9th.

The most important days are 24th of December (Christmas Eve), 25-27th of December (Christmas), 31st of December (New Years’ Eve), 1st of January (New Year) and 6th of January (Feast of the Three Kings). Other significant dates include the Advent period (from the beginning of December until Christmas), Feast of St. Thomas (December 21st), Feast of St. Knut (January 7th) on the islands and in the western part of the country.

Together with economic growth Christmas has become a time of never – ending shopping with stores and supermarkets getting ready to accept throngs of customers as early as October and November.

Along with centuries–old Estonian traditions, there are now new customs adopted from the Scandinavians. One of them – the most popular – is celebrating the so-called „Little Christmas”, during the first week of December, also know as pre-Christmas. It is usually celebrated with friends in an office or another workplace and is usually combined with eating and drinking of heated wine.

 

Translator: Szczepan Witaszek

About Kazimierz Popławski

Twórca i redaktor naczelny portali Eesti.pl i PrzegladBaltycki.pl.