Sunday is Father's Day (isadepäev) in Estonia, and the Estonian Women's Union marked the occasion with a festive ceremony in which they named Ülo Loorens the 2023 Father of the Year.
Loorens raised four children, all now adults: Janek (46), Indrek (45), Renek (42) and Villu (35). He also has 12 grandchildren.
Each year, the Estonian Women's Union (Eesti Naisliit, ENL) selects the father of the year from among candidates nominated for the title.
To qualify, a father must be raising or have raised at least two children, an Estonian citizen, professionally employed and a good role model in valuing family outside the family itself as well.
Recipients of the title are also presented with a unique badge made by Estonian jewelry designer Mari Käbin, as well as gifted a family cruise to Sweden by Estonian shipper Tallink.
Among prior recipients of the ENL honor are actor, theater director and theater pedagogue Lembit Peterson (2007), politician and artist Heinz Valk (2009), former Tartu mayor Urmas Kruuse (2010) and basketball player Tiit Sokk (2016).
Father's Day was first celebrated in Spokane, Washington in 1910; in the U.S., it is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Estonia adopted Finland's custom of celebrating Father's Day on the second Sunday of November in 1988.
Both countries celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.
Editor: Aili Vahtla