Sunday, May 15 marks Tallinn Day, the 21st time the annual event has been celebrated, with activities, including an Estonian-language dictation test, starting as early as Friday, Tallinn City Government says.
Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said: "Tallinn Day is an opportunity to highlight the creativity of our city and to value the contribution of creative people in making our city rich with unique atmosphere."
"We have a long history - this year marks the 700th anniversary of the first mentioning of Tallinn Town Hall - but Tallinn is also an open and innovative city where different people can live together in peace. Our cultural space fosters creativity, and innovation and teamwork is highly valued, helping us succeed in today's fast-changing world," the mayor continued, according to a city government press release.
"It is in difficult times that we are fully able to understand and appreciate the history and heritage of our community," he added.
The dictation takes place at 12.00 noon on Friday, May 13 in Raekoja plats (Town Hall Square), and is open to all, children, students and adults alike and regardless of their native language.
Mayor Kõlvart said: "Over the last two years, we could not gather because of the corona pandemic and participants from all over the world were able to write e-dictations. This time, however, we have a chance to assemble again and put ourselves to the test together, shoulder to shoulder. I hope that many citizens of Tallinn will take advantage of this opportunity, and why not visitors to the city as well."
In addition to marking the Town Hall's (Tallinna Raekoda) 700th anniversary, Kõlvart noted that the dictation itself is celebrating an anniversary – its tenth – also. "I am pleased to see that it has found a firm place in the Tallinn Day program and in the hearts of the citizens of Tallinn," he added.
Those interested in taking part must register in advance, here (link in Estonian).
More information (in Estonian) is here.
The dictation text will be read out by noted singer and actor Ivo Uukkivi.
The Friday morning will also see students getting the opportunity to meet musicians and take part in music quizzes.
On the Saturday, May 14, Tallinn's districts are in focus, with various park concerts and community plantings of spring flowers and plants taking place, as well as a family sports day in Haabersti and a youth festival at Männi Park in the Mustamäe district, a tour of the Old Town and a hike in the Pirita district.
The traditional meeting between mayor and prime minister takes place on the Sunday morning, as Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) joins mayor Kõlvart to ceremonially open the Lühikese Jala gate, in the Old Town.
The gate represents the historical link between the fortifications of Toompea Castle – seat of the Riigikogu – and the City of Tallinn, while the event signifies confirm the good cooperation between the two authorities.
At 12.00 noon, Tallinn Day will be officially opened in front of the Town Hall by mayor Kõlvart and Tallinn Herald Jüri Kuuskemaa. The Mayor invites all citizens and guests to visit the Town Hall that time until 5 p.m. on the Sunday, to mark its 700th anniversary.
Admission will be free of charge, while at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., medieval and Renaissance music will be performed there by the Kiili Old Music Ensemble, and a showcase concert of the Tallinn Talent competition for young musicians takes place in the Estonia Theater's concert hall, also at 2 p.m.
Several museums under the Tallinn City Museum umbrella will also be offering free entry, including the Tallinn City Life Museum (on Vene 17), Kalamaja Museum (Kotzebue 16) and the Kiek in de Kök Fortifications Museum (Komandandi tee 2)
More information is here.
The day culminates in a free open-air concert in Kadriorg Park from 3 p.m to 10 p.m., featuring a science show for children by Ahhaa Science Centre, and performances by Prime Orchestra from Ukraine, Minimal Wind, Gameboy Tetris, villemdrillem, Clicherik & Mäx, Tanel Padar, Uku Suviste, and Silver Laas & band.
The first Tallinn Day was held 20 years ago, in 2002, and aimed to commemorate the granting of the city charter of Lübeck to Tallinn in 1248, an action which made Tallinn a full-fledged European city, as well as linking the city's history with its present.
The detailed itinerary of the day's events is here.
The tradition of writing a Tallinn-themed dictation for Tallinn Day started in 2013, Tallinn City Government says. The subject matter of the text has always been related to Estonian literature, culture and the history of Tallinn. In previous years, dictations have been held at Tallinn University, Kosmos cinema and Freedom Square. The text has been recited by many well-known people, including writers Andrus Kivirähk and Jan Kaus, musicians Reket and Ivo Linna, actor Märt Avandi and world champion and Olympic bronze medallist in cross-country skiing Kelly Sildaru. This time, as noted the text is dictated by singer and actor Ivo Uukkivi.
The Tallinn Day dictation is being organized by the Tallinn Education Department in cooperation with Estonian language and literature teachers from Tallinn municipal schools, who have prepared the dictation text. Last week, a preparatory lecture was held in Solaris Apollo, where teachers Kaia Rosin and Igor Kaasik helped to refresh the language skills. You can also test your knowledge of interpunctuation, in particular the use of commas, independently before the dictation by taking a test in Kahoot, created by teachers Kaia Rosin and Kristi Koidu. In addition, you can find inspiration for revision and texts from previous dictations on the study materials page. A Kahoot on literature and history will also help train your memory.
Editor: Andrew Whyte