Estonia welcomes 2023 with a variety of events nationwide

Concert and laser show in Vabaduse väljak, Tallinn, New Year's Eve 2022-2023.
Concert and laser show in Vabaduse väljak, Tallinn, New Year's Eve 2022-2023. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Estonia saw in 2023 in the traditional way with outdoor gatherings across the country, though this year, fireworks were largely off the official agenda.


The capital saw a concert held in Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak), while a light performance organized by Tallinn City Government replaced fireworks. Plenty of private firework shows set up by members of the public could be seen across the capital, however, reaching a crescendo as the clock struck midnight. Conditions were mild for the time of year, if a little damp.

The traditional New Year's Concert followed on January 1 in Tallinn, held at the Estonia Theater's Concert Hall (see gallery below) and organized by Eesti Kontsert and Remy Martin.


The second city also held-off from organizing a fireworks display to see in 2023, though again, it was impossible to ignore the large number of fireworks set off by private individuals.

In more sedate mode, a new year's ball and concert was held at the Vanemuine theater (see gallery below).


On Kuressaare, the capital of Saaremaa, the people congregated in the central square (Keskväljak) to celebrate and to listen to President Alar Karis' New Year's address.

If you wish to see a video of a 12 hour period in central Kuressaare, from late afternoon on the last day of the year through to early morning on the first and condensed into a 90-second clip, it's below.


The central Estonia city of Paide, Järva County, also passed on the fireworks, though chair of the Reform Party at the city's council, Tarmo Alt, went against the grain here and organized a fundraiser for that purpose.

As a result, a display costing around €300 was held in any case, though, ERR reports, it was more modest than that of previous years.


In Kadrina, Lääne-Viru County, the focus was on the sauna.

2023 will be the year of the sauna, as celebrated here in Kadrina. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

2023 is year of the sauna in Estonia, an idea hatched in the town, just west of Rakvere, and aims to promote the health and social benefits of sauna culture and disseminate folk wisdom and the science of the sauna alike.


Meanwhile on the island of Muhu, stints in the sauna were alternated with a cold-water dip, on New Year's Day.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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