Tallinn's traditional Christmas tree arrived in Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats) Saturday, marking the beginning of the festive season.
The tree will take its regular spot in the center of the square as focal point of this year's socially-distanced Christmas market. It had been due for installation earlier in the week but windy conditions rendered this too dangerous.
The tree, a spruce (see gallery below), was freshly cut Saturday morning in a courtyard in Nõmme, south of Tallinn city center, which owner Raido told ERR was a 45-year-old specimen purchased by his own father to mark his, Raido's, first birthday.
City center elder Monika Haukanõmm (Center) said that getting the tree, the winner out of a shortlist of 26, including one on the other side of the Gulf of Finland in Vantaa, near Helsinki, on-site had been a challenge due to its size.
The official lighting-up ceremony is not until the evening of next Friday, November 27.
Stalls at the annual market will be dispersed further apart and throughout the Old Town rather than concentrated in the Town Hall Square as before, due to COVID-19 restrictions and considerations.
The regular sound stage is also not happening this year, with a varied cultural program at different locations taking its place.
The weekend's weather has fit the occasion quite well also, with temperatures below zero early Saturday morning and only a few degrees above, maxing-out at 8C, during the day, with strong winds of 15-18 m/s and 25 m/s gusts making it feel even colder. Wind-speeds of over 21 m/s constitute a storm, and over 1,000 households were cut-off mid-week in similar conditions.
Sunday will see a return of the sleet and rain which appeared earlier in the week, giving way to snow from Thursday night and adding to the wind, with daytime temperatures staying resolutely in the single figures through the week.
The cold weather has also attracted the attention of the men of the Queen's Royal Hussars (QRH) a British Army armored regiment forming part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup at Tapa, Lääne-Viru County, usually one of the more snowed-upon regions of Estonia.
QRH pipers welcomed the snowy weather with a rendition of "A Scottish Soldier", originally by Andy Stewart.
Editor: Andrew Whyte