Tallinn and Tartu will hold light shows and concerts to welcome the new year on Sunday, December 31. Both cities are encouraging residents not to celebrate with fireworks.
In Tallinn, the event will take place on Vabaduse väljak from 9 p.m.
LAINE (9 p.m), Trad.Attack! (10 p.m.), and nublu & gameboy tetris (11 p.m.) will perform and a light show titled "New Beginning" will follow at midnight.
The show is themed around Estonia's land and nature, the green capital, and positivity, Tallinn said. It includes over 25 powerful laser projectors and Ayrton Cobra laser-based lights.
The 18-minute performance, created by the Estonian Light Art Agency (EEVAA), is a tribute to Estonian music. It features compositions from Eino Tamberg, Sander Mölder, Trad.Attack!, Kristjan Järvi, and other notable Estonian musicians.
Due to the concert, public transport will not run on its usual schedule and will be extended until 3 p.m. Some diversions will be in place.
Information on timetables, routes, and stops can be found on the website transport.tallinn.ee.
The event in Tartu will welcome not just the new year, but the city's turn as European Capital of Culture in 2024. While the official opening event will take place on January 26, celebrations will also take place on December 31.
A special stage has been set up for the light shows on Vabaduse Puiestee, in the area between Kaubamaja and the Tartu turuhoone (Market Hall). Vabaduse Puiestee will be closed to traffic at 7 a.m., on December 29, and will reopen at 9 p.m., on January 2.
On New Year's Eve, starting at 11:30 p.m., the first of several light shows, Maakene, will take place, followed by video greetings from the Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas and President Alar Karis.
The New Year will be met with a light and laser show and music.
At 12.30 a.m., the production Kuukene will be performed, and at 1 a.m., Maakene will be repeated. Performances will also be repeated on 1 January, from 6 p.m.–7.30 p.m.
Kuukene, tells the story of a person looking for the path to strength and happiness. Trad.Attack! and Silver Lepaste wrote the show's music. The screenplay was written by Tiina Saarits, Valter Maatee, Argo Valdmaa, and Antti Aalmaa.
Maakene is a story about the delicate and fragile ecosystem of planet Earth, and the importance of protecting it. The production, based on the work "Poiss ja Liblikas" by A. H. Tammsaare, was adapted by Simo Kruusement, Renee Nõmmik, and Tiina Ollesk. The music for the show was written by Mick Pedaja.
The City of Tartu has held New Year's Eve events without fireworks for several years. This summer, the city government established a rule that higher category fireworks may not be used at events organized by the City of Tartu and supported by the city, as they generate loud noise and environmental damage.
Editor: Helen Wright