2 July – Visitation
The Estonian name for this day is ‘Hay Mary’s Day’ which implies that it is related to hay in one way or another. In some areas of Estonia hay making would start, in other regions this day would mark the middle of hay making season, and somewhere else it was even believed that people had better take a break from haying on this day.
5 July – Jubilee: puppeteer and director Väino Luup 85
10 July – Seven Brothers’ Day
Here is the legend about Seven Brothers’ Day commonly told in Väike-Maarja region.
There once lived seven brothers, who practiced their ancient Estonian faith, but when Germans came to plant their faith, the brothers refused to convert to it and were burnt for three days; their mother Maret later shared their fate. They are believed to have uttered a curse, and weather wisdom says that if it rains on Seven Brothers’ Day, it will keep raining for seven more weeks, but if there is so much sunlight as a man needs to jump upon a horse’s back, there will be much more.
13 July – Maret’s Day
Numerous stories about this day have been around. It was believed that another name of this day meaning ‘the day of the woolly one’ could refer to the day of paying respect to the bear; folklore collectors of later periods developed the idea and told stories about a person called Maret, who was born covered with hair and became the ancestor of bears. However, folklore sources do not prove that version.
16 july – birth anniversary: 180 years since the birth of Nikolai von Glehn, the founder of Nõmme
20 July – Saint Elijah’s Day
This day is mostly celebrated in Setomaa. Working is strictly forbidden: if you do not worship Saint Elijah’s Day, lightning will strike you.
22 July – Saint Mary Magdalene’s Day
Similarly to other countries of Western Europe, this day is associated with the cult of Saint Mary Magdalene. The only folk saying about it stated that starting with this day people who had used up last year’s grain could get ‘emergency bread’ made of this year’s grain.
25 July – Saint James’ Day
Saint James’ Day is considered to be the turn of the summer and marks the beginning of late summer. This is when hay making is finished and the harvesting period starts. This day was also when girls started to gather to work together on Thursday and Sunday evenings, and the meetings took place until Annunciation in spring. They used to do handicraft and sing songs; sometimes young men and musicians would visit and then the evening became a dancing party.
26 July – Saint Anne’s Day
This holiday is mainly known in Setomaa. This is when people commemorated Saint Anne, protector of sheep, and went to ‘Anne’s Stone’ and the chapel to bring a sacrifice of sheep heads, legs and wool. The priest kept a part of the produce, and the other part was given to the poor.
29 July – Saint Olaf’s Day
Saint Olaf’s Day used to be mainly celebrated on the western coast and the nearby islands. Similarly to other holidays of this time of the year, Saint Olaf’s day symbolises the transition to consuming this year’s crop.
One of the most important traditions of Saint Olaf’s day was killing the sacrificial lamb: it was supposed to protect cattle from diseases and evil eye.

Folk calendar via Estonian Open Air Museum

whole month

“Heaps of happiness!?” – an exhibition about well-being, mental health, and balance

Discussions about what really matters in life are as old as humankind. The subject of happiness is full of mystery and raises many questions. What is happiness? How can you find it? Why are some people and nations happier than others? These issues interest psychologists, philosophers, politicians, and each and every one of us when we start to contemplate our lives. There are people who can be happy and content regardless of difficult times. Others cannot feel any joy in their lives and circumstances even when they have many positives.

In May, the Estonian Health Museum opens a new exhibition ‘Heaps of Happiness!? An exhibition on well-being, mental health, and balance’. The exhibition explores what makes people happy and highlights issues of mental health and coping. We share practical tips for concentrating on our positive inner strength and make conscious efforts towards a better life.

Where: Estonian Health Museum, Lai 30

When: May 18th 2021 – May 15th 2022

Tickets: 5 – 8 €

Whole month

Applied art exhibition  “Translucency”

Applied art in its many forms is taking over Kai Art Center this summer!

The extensive applied art exhibition “Translucency” includes 21 artists from the Nordic countries, the UK, the Netherlands, the US, Lithuania and Estonia.

The show, curated by the Danish art historian and glass artist Stine Bidstrup, focuses on the phenomenon of translucency – the mysterious and multifaceted area between transparency and opacity. Artworks exhibited at Kai are conceptual, playful and experimental. The artists look at themes like presence and absence, the private and the public, individuality and collectivity, time and temporality, politics and language, material decay and structural defects.

The exhibition features a variety of fields, techniques and materials: glass, textile, ceramics, garments, photography, sculpture, installation, jewellery, video, furniture, 3D printing, digital design etc. Alongside the international main exhibition, the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial also has an exciting satellite programme, including over 20 satellite exhibitions, installations and other events taking place in various locations all over Tallinn.

When: May 29th – August 15th

Where: Kai Art Center, Peetri 12

Tickets: 5-8 €

Whole month

Exhibition “Modern Love (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies)

The exhibition Modern Love looks at love and human relations in the current age of the internet, social media and high capitalism – the first age of “cold intimacy”. The exhibition looks at how the digital world, technology giants and neoliberalism have changed love and social relations, while at the same time diluting the separation between the public and the private. The exhibition also looks at how the current issues of time and space have influenced the way we communicate with one another and how the virtual has become entwined with reality. These are still two quite distinct things, although the opposite is announced. Modern Love deals with human pathologies connected to the commodification of feelings and the negative expressions of love (e.g. love for money), and for comparison it also delves into meaningful and transformative forms of love, from the personal to the political. 

Where: Tallinn Art Hall, Vabaduse väljak 8

When: June 19th – September 5th

Tickets: 0-12 €

July 10th

Summer concert in Estonian Open Air Museum. Ott Lepland & Quartet.

Ott Lepland is one of the most beloved contemporary pop singers and songwriters in Estonia, having studied in Georg Ots Tallinn Music College and been a contestant in the immensely popular TV-show “Estonia is searching for a superstar”. By now, Ott Lepland has many successful albums and many hit songs. 

The concert starts at 7 p.m. in the swing grounds but the concert ticket doubles as a museum pass during the whole day.

Where: Estonian Open Air Museum, Vabaõhumuuseumi tee 12

When: July 10th at 7 p.m.

Ticket:17-19 €

Whole month

History Museum’s exhibition “From Cave to Cuddles. The Story of Dogs and Humans“ This exhibition talks about dogs, people and their long journey together. 

We all know expressions like a dog’s life, working like a dog, raining cats and dogs, all of which mean something difficult and unpleasant. This is not the case at all, the journey of dogs to the present has been long and volatile, but also exciting, adventurous and rich in smells! And there is no red in a dog’s life – because dogs can’t see it!

Where: Estonian History Museum’s Maarjamäe Castle, Pirita tee 56

When: February 17th 2021 – February 27th 2022

Tickets: 8 – 10 €

Whole month

Film Museum’s exhibiton “Ideal Landscapes 21/101/2021 Estonian Films”

“So, look yourself in the face. Do you see your own reflection on the snowy hillsides of the Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel? Or in the muddy bog of November? We have been written into and are held captive in these places, they reflect our desire to be someone and say something.”  (Tristan Priimägi, film critic)

Twenty-one films are not enough to cover the entire history of Estonian film. Even the 101 films mentioned in the book “101 Estonian Films” by film critic Tristan Priimägi are not enough.

Where: Estonian Film Museum, Pirita tee 56

When: May 6th – October 3rd

Tickets: 8 – 10 €

Whole month

Up All Night: Looking Closely at Rave Culture

A rave is an electronic dance music event. The impacts of rave culture have spread beyond the sphere of music and have reached visual culture in the form of different subcultural manifestations. The exhibition deals with this powerful phenomenon by displaying works from the Meccas of the heyday of rave, England and Belgium, and provides insight into rave culture today in the Berlin nightclub Berghain, as well as in many other locations.

Where: Kumu Art Museum, Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1
When: March 26th – October 10th

Ticket: 7 – 10€

Whole month

Zuloaga: Soul of Spain

Ignacio Zuloaga (1870–1945) holds a special place in Spanish art. His works reflect the painful search for identity and the political and social breakthroughs of the beginning of the 20th century in Spain, while preserving and developing the traditions of the Spanish school of painting. Zuloaga, who came from a Basque artistic dynasty, studied art in the independent private academies of Paris, but he considered the old Spanish masters to be his main role models and their influence is apparent in many of his works. After long years spent in Paris, where he belonged to innovative artistic circles and was friends with Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Maurice Denis, August Rodin, Maxime Dethomas and many other figures of art, music and literature, and a successful international career (Zuloaga’s exhibitions took place in Paris, London, Venice, Dresden, Rome, New York, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Moscow, St Petersburg etc.), he returned to Spain, dedicating himself to depicting the traditional way of life in his new home region of Castile.

Where: Mikkel museum, Weizenbergi 28

When: April 4th – September 5th

Tickets: 4 – 6 €

Whole month

Crazy about Dymphna

The St Dymphna altarpiece was painted around 1505 by Goossen Van der Weyden, a grandson of the renowned Rogier Van der Weyden. This brilliant example of the early Dutch painting tradition, with its peculiar pictorial programme, used to be part of the permanent exhibition of the Antwerp Royal Museum of Fine Arts. The seven painted panels of the altarpiece depict the tragic life and sufferings of the virgin martyr Dymphna. The work was commissioned for the Tongerlo (nowadays in Belgium) Abbey near the town of Geel. The Irish princess Dymphna died a martyr’s death in Geel and she has been revered in the region since the Middle Ages as a healer of mental afflictions.

Where: Niguliste museum, Niguliste 3

When: May 21st – October 31st

Ticket: 6-8 €

July 8th to July 11th

Medieval Days in Tallinn Old Town

The Medieval Days are one of the most important annual events of the Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union since the year 2000. The Medieval Days take place in Tallinn’s Old Town every year on the first full week of July from Thursday to Sunday (in 2014 due to song and dance festival one week later).

During the Medieval Days you are able to feel the atmosphere of the flourishing Hanseatic era. A large medieval market is set up in the Town Hall Square with merchants and workshops. Musicians and dancers from near and far take the stage. A medieval procession opens the event followed by various workshops, excursions and theatre performances. The children’s area is situated on the Niguliste hill where children are able to participate in workshops, knight tournaments and other exciting activities.

Where: Tallinn old town

When: July 8th – July 11th

July 11th

Naissaare Jazz: Maria Faust Jazz Catastrophe

12 years, 11 albums, 15 awards, a jillion performances, some celebrated successes, a few fantastic failures, infinite weirdness, and 144 periods later, Maria Faust revisits her expansive (and expensive) songbook, created between 2008 and 2020.

Charismatic and eccentric composer and saxophonist Maria Faust coined the term “menstrual jazz,” an unpredictable genre of music that ebbs and flows with her predictably unpredictable hormonal cycle. Each song and arrangement, each band and concert, each day and month and year bring with them new adventures and challenges.

Where: Naissaare, Omari küün

When: July 11th, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: 40 €

July 15th

Concert “Summer heart”

Tuulikki Bartosik (accordion with melody bass)

Duo Telluur:

Heli Ernits (French horn / oboe)

Kirill Ogorodnikov (classical guitar)

Presenting three versatile Estonian musicians with instruments from different eras – the combination of accordion, French horn and guitar is quite special. Each of us has “ownworld” – the world as one perceives it. As our “ownworlds” meet the heart of all our worlds is born. There are many opportunities for new experiences, inspiration, collaboration, and broadening of cognition to be found. The concert program “Summer Heart” is a story of friendship, kinship, warmth, joy, longing, nature and human nature.

Concert series “Summer Classics in Kadriorg”

When: July 15th, 7 p.m.

Where: Kadriorg Palace, Weizenbergi 37

Tickets: 15 – 20 €

The calendar is created with the support of Tallinn city and Kodurahu programme.