2 December 2018–10 January 2019
Everyone in Tartu loves arranging to meet up by the fountain of the Kissing Students, the kissing students included, and for that matter anywhere on Town Hall Square. For the duration of more than one cold month this very favourite meeting place is being been prepared with extra-special care: it is being made ready for that time of year when everyone’s favourite holiday season arrives and Tartu transforms into a Christmas city.
Village of Light II, the collection of glass pavilions which almost doubled in size during the long, hot summer, is calling everyone out of doors despite the wintry conditions – to take a stroll, get together with friends and loved ones, light Advent candles, cheer on the Santas` Winter Games and take part in Wintry Tartu Folk Dance Day. If the heavens aren’t raining down, you can enjoy the cosy space between the pavilions on the square, curl up, admire the chains of light, smile at the animal carousel and warm yourself by open fire. Whether you come deliberately or just happen to pass by, there will be something for everyone, since the festive season lasts for quite some time.
You will also be able to step into some of the pavilions in the Village of Light, whether for a hot cup of tea or to relax in the straw pavilion or to participate in workshops. Town Hall Square will also play host to a mini-botanical garden, and there will be a pavilion representing one of the world’s cutest museums – Tartu’s very own Toy Museum.
Being a Christmas city, Tartu once again has a special agreement with Santa’s post office. Its red branch – Santa’s Tartu post box – will await children’s letters next to the Christmas tree. The little bell that rings every time a letter is posted will be heard by the right ears all the way up in Lapland. Santa’s most trusted helper in the Village of Light will be Tartu’s very own city rabbit, Toivo.
Also visiting the city during the festivities will be the horses from the J. Kallaste Carriages. You can admire these fine beasts and take sleigh rides with them. Children will also love the ponies, who will be offering rides at these times.
The Village of Light will be open every day from 9:00–21:00, while traders will be on Town Hall Square from 17:00–21:00 Monday–Friday and from 11:00–21:00 Saturday and Sunday. Friends of Estonian design will also love the little pavilion featuring a cute and carefully curated selection of Made in Aparaaditehas items in the Village of Light. The design pavilion will be open from 17:00–21:00 Wednesday–Friday and from 11:00–19:00 Saturday and Sunday.