Tartu's Hanseatic Days Get Going Despite Soggy Cool ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Scanpix

The Hanseatic Days, Tartu's big summer festival, get going today in the college town and continue through Sunday even as rain moves into the area.

Temperatures were around 13 C at noon, though things are expected to get intermittently better and besides the traditional fair and outdoor pageantry, there are also indoor workshops on offer.

This year has an olfactory theme. "We are trying to bring smells into the city that have not been here for centuries, perhaps - foods consumed in the olden days, the smell of animals and manure, to make the medieval dream a little more realistic ," said project manager Ants Johanson.

This year's festival will again have different "cities" - each dedicated to a discipline such as art or science or a particular audience, such as children.

The evenings will bring concerts in Antonius courtyard. The festival is known for its large fair, which takes up the central drag of Küüni and (on the other side of Town Hall Square) Rüütli streets. The fair has also expanded to Uueturu park this year.

An outdoor cinema will also screen films for general audiences, free of charge - it's in the ruins of the city's Gothic cathedral, in Toome park.

Some logistical changes may be apparent for fans of the festival, which is in its 18th year. The city's triathlon is being held at the same time.

The city center will not be completely closed to cars, but Johanson asks that people be reasonable and where possible, come on foot or bike.