Estonia may be the world's least religious country – only 20 percent of population said that religion plays an important part in their life in last census – but when it comes to holidays with religious background, Estonians are still eager to celebrate - days off and good time, that is.
Easter, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, may have had a completely alien connotation for Estonians before the Teutonic Knights brought Christianity to Estonia in the 13th century, but in the country's folk calendar, Easter is celebrated as a spring holiday to welcome the arrival of the lighter and warmer season.
The warmer season has not arrived to Estonia this year yet, but bright colors in the form of decorated eggs and yellow table decorations will certainly find their way into people's homes.
The old tradition is to decorate eggs by boiling them wrapped in the outer skin of onions, but in more prosperous times, such as these, kids are usually having fun by letting their fantasy fly and paint the eggs in vivid colors. The egg knocking competition follows, in which each of the participant has an egg and whoever breaks the shell of the competitor's egg without cracking his, will be crowned the winner.
Apart from getting stuffed with eggs – last year the sale of eggs in Estonia increased by four-fold during the Easter - there are many family-friendly events taking place over the Easter weekend across Estonia.
The Estonian Open Air Museum will organize an all-day dedicated event on April 5 – activities vary from coloring fun Easter eggs with natural products to presenting traditional Estonian methods of cooking, such as making cottage cheese and butter. Easter postcards from the 1930-s will be on sale and if that doesn't interest enough, one can join the Birdwatching club of Tallinn for a birdwatching tour at the museum's forest paths.
For those who still want to honor religious traditions, Easter sermon will take place at the Sutlepa chapel in the vicinity of the museum.
For information on other events, please visit also Culture.ee website.
Editor: S. Tambur