Tallinn St. John’s Day Celebrations
Location: Tallinn (various venues)
On the whitest and most beautiful night of the year the Estonian Open Air Museum invites you to take the most of it. Flaming bonfires, music from the best folk musicians, dancing and swinging with big village swings, children playing old time folk games. Summer solstice or Jaanipäev in Estonians is one of the highlight events of the year which traditionally marked the change in the farming year. Spring sowing was completed as well as the hard hay-making.
The Estonians love their countryside dearly. Especially in the summer, a season longingly anticipated in a country with an otherwise chilly climate. Summer’s white nights are the most beautiful time of year and the longest summer’s day can last up to 19 hours. That day is 23 June – the summer solstice, known as Midsummer Day or St John’s Day. The solstice, when the night is at its briefest and the day is at its longest, is associated with fertility. It is always celebrated in spectacular fashion and is one of the most important events of the year. Traditionally there is a huge bonfire in the evening, home brewed beer is drunk and customary leaps over the bonfire are performed. Later, at night, you accompany an attractive member of the opposite sex on a short stroll into the forest, a custom referred to in popular parlance as “looking for the fern blossom”.