The week in pictures, November 24-30 ({{commentsTotal}})

People from all over Estonia celebrated the first Advent on Sunday. Candles and Christmas trees were lit up in all larger cities.
Open gallery
8 photos
Photo: People from all over Estonia celebrated the first Advent on Sunday. Candles and Christmas trees were lit up in all larger cities. Author: (Martin Dremljuga/ERR)

The week kicked off with the news that the Lutheran Archbishop, who had celebrated his 65th birthday over the weekend, was set to retire due to age restrictions. On Wednesday, the 57-member General Synod of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church elected 41-year-old Urmas Viilma as his successor.

Eerik-Niiles Kross's defection saga from the IRL to Reform Party got a sequel, when it emerged that not all Reform Party top ranking members welcomed him with open arms. The party board convened on Wednesday evening to discuss what bearing his entry ban to the US and arrest warrant from Russia had on his party membership. It was decided that until the matter with the US is solved, Kross will not hold a position of power in the government or the Parliament.

On Thursday it was announced that the UNESCO had decided to add the smoke sauna tradition in Võromaa, southern Estonia, to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A smoke sauna is an old-fashioned rural sauna, which has no chimney, so the smoke circulates and warms the room during the heating process, before being released through a window, a door or a whole in the wall. "The fact that the smoke sauna tradition of the Võro people was added to the UNESCO Representative List contributes to the continuity of the tradition and attracts international attention,” said Minister of Culture Urve Tiidus.

Later that day, the government approved the plan to buy 44 combat vehicles from Holland in what is the country's largest defense procurement so far. The CV90s will enter the service from 2016 and are expected to remain in use for at least 20 years. The vehicles have been used by the Dutch, but are relatively new.

President Ilves proclaimed general elections on Friday. The ad campaigns had kicked off with multiple scandals the week before.

The Black Nights Film Festival, which was recently named among the 15 most important film festivals in the world, came to an end this weekend. The winner of the grand prix for the best film was announced on Friday evening. The award went to Belgian director Gust van den Berghe for "Lucifer".

On Sunday, Estonia celebrated the first Advent by lighting advent candles and turning on the lights on public Christmas trees.

Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.