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Christmas village brings festive cheer in Narva

Narva Christmas Village.
Narva Christmas Village. Source: ERR

In Narva, the start of the festive season was marked with the opening of the city's Christmas Village, while the the Town Hall bell was rung again after a long period of enforced silence. Narva residents were also invited to visit the city's newly-renovated Stockholm Square (Stockholmi plats) for the first time.

For the last nine years, Narva Christmas Village has been moved to different parts of the border city. This time, the village was set up in Town Hall Square (Raekoja Plats). As it turns out, under the gaze of the newly-renovated Town Hall windows and a beautiful Christmas tree, this year's event is not only cozier but also more economical than in previous years.

"The cultural budget has been cut and, unfortunately, so was ours. Therefore, the smaller the location, the more economical it is to organize an event. If I had a budget like in Tallinn or Tartu, I could celebrate [ the festive season] in a much more dynamic way," said Artjom Pohlak, organizer of Narva Christmas Village.

At the Narva Christmas Village, people can dance and drink mulled wine, as well as ride horses and watch Jõuluvana (Estonian Santa Claus) arrive to bring festive cheer. Due to heavy snow on the ground, Jõuluvana will not arrive at the square in a sleigh but instead on a snow plough.

Few people even bother to peek behind the city's town hall building. However, now, in what used to be a dusty car park is  Stockholm Square (Stockholmi plats), was opened to Narva residents for the first time on Friday.

Narva's Town Hall bell could also be heard ringing out again for the first time in a long while.

"It was quiet, but it was even quieter on Town Hall Square, so I was easier to hear. Thank you for this tradition, it's very nice," said Jelena, a local who was visiting the Christmas Village.

"The bell is new, it rings in a new way. This bell has such a long history. For the first time in many years, it resounds again," said Dmitry, another local.

Narva Christmas Village is open until Tuesday, December 26. The Town Hall bell rings out, not only for Christmas Day, but also on the hour, every day from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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