Open Air Museum celebrates Old Believer and Seto harvest festivals

The Estonian Open Air Museum celebrates Piiriveere Onion and Fish Day on October 1
The Estonian Open Air Museum celebrates Piiriveere Onion and Fish Day on October 1 Source: Estonian Open Air Museum

On Friday, October 1, the Estonian Open Air Museum in Tallinn will host an event celebrating the harvest festivals of two of Estonia's minority communities, the Old Believers and the Setos.

The combined Piiriveere Onion and Fish Day and Seto St Michaelmas Day event provides opportunities for visitors to participate in traditional folk games and craft workshops as well as experience Seto Leelo, the unique form of polyphonic singing, which is inscribed into UNESCO's list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

"At the heart of the Piiriveere Onion and Fish Day are the (Seto and Old Believer) community members who travel together to Tallinn from all over Estonia to introduce (people to) the culture of their regions, their harvest customs and their latest achievements," said Einike Sooväli, Head of Integration and Social Programs at the Open Air Museum. "It's definitely worth getting into a positive mood by heading to the Open Air Museum, where you can experience both a real Seto Michaelmas (Mihklipäivä in Seto - ed) celebration and the harvest customs of the Peipsi Lake (region)," added Sooväli.

All the activities will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday October 1, on the village green between the museum's Seto farm and Peipus Russian dwelling house.

As both communities are famous for their vegetable gardening and fishing skills, the event includes a fair where you can buy the best Peipsi onions, fish and plenty more. Visitors can also get acquainted with Peipsiveere and Seto food culture and handicrafts in the museum's farm houses.

Michaelmas prayers begin at 11.30 a.m., after which the fall celebration of the Seto community gets under way with leelo singing and traditional greetings. Folklore ensemble Sõsarõ will give a concert at 1.30 p.m., followed by a performance of Slavic folk songs at 2.30 p.m.

Throughout the day, visitors can play folk games, drink refreshing tea made in a samovar and more learn about cabbage harvesting and pickling at the Peipsi Russian house.

At the Seto farm, Elvi Nassar will present Seto folk costumes, while visitors will also get the chance to make Slavic and Finno-Ugric dolls in a special workshop. There will also be a workshop on Old Believers' lubok printing technique run by Pavel Varunin.

Lamb soup, onion and fish based dishes, as well as traditional Seto Michaelmas food will be available throughout the day.

More information about the Piiriveere Onion and Fish Day and Seto St Michaelmas Day celebrations at the Estonian Open Air Museum in Tallinn can be found here.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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