How Estonians Enjoy Christmas: Häid jõule! – Hyeonji (South Korea)

Häid jõule! “Merry Christmas” in Estonian.

As Christmas is coming, lights and carols start to fill the streets. I feel it is the month people love the most throughout a year. It is the best time to express your appreciation and prepare for the new year with your loving families or friends. Are you going back to your home or staying in Tartu at Christmas? Regardless of where you are at, why don’t you enjoy it with how Estonians do? Here are some tips on how natives spend their holiday.

Photo Credits: Inessa Mülts

Christmas Market

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  2. Tallinn Christmas Market (Kesklinna linnaosa, Raekoja plats, 15.11.2019 – 07.01.2020, 10:00 – 19:00)
  3. Christmas City Tartu (Tartu linn, Tartu Raekoja plats, 01.12.2019 – 10.01.2020, 17:00)
  4. Tartu Christmas Fair (Tartu linn, Tartu kesklinn, Küüni tänav, 14.12.2019, 11:00 – 16:00)
  5. Christmas Fair at the Tartu Exhibition Fair Centre (Tartu linn, Tartu Näituse Messikeskus, 06.12 – 08.12.2019) *admission ticket is needed

Detailed information: https://www.visitestonia.com/en/why-estonia/christmas-markets

In markets, you can enjoy various Christmas food such as blood sausage, handicrafts, organic cosmetics, and winter clothes. Tallinn Christmas is one of well-known Christmas markets in Europe. Moreover, you can take a picture with Santa clause in the Santa house in Tallinn Christmas market and it will certainly evoke your childhood memories. I believe it will be worthy to spend your weekend going to the markets and appreciating festive vibes.

Photo Credits: Inessa Mülts


From the first day of December, people start to do an advent calendar waiting for the Christmas. You can get it in supermarkets and cosmetic shops based on what you like. Before Christmas is coming, family members gather their presents beneath the tree or in the Santa clause bag and open them at the Christmas night. Also, they sometimes hang stockings on the window for children as they believe a little elf is coming and giving them sweets every day. Besides, they usually watch some Christmas movies and roll up a snowman when it is snowy.

Photo Credits: Inessa Mülts

Food & Dessert

People generally eat dinner together composed of traditional food such as meat with potatoes, meat jelly, sauerkraut(sour cabbage), herring (fish sour cream on top), pumpkin salad, pickle salad and blood sausage. For beverage, they drink glögi which is hot red wine and there is also non-alcohol option for children. After that, pie, ice cream and gingerbread cookies are ready for them.

Food is totally different according to where they live and what they prefer but I feel the important thing is whom they with. It is always good to spend time with beloved people eating delicious food and chatting the whole night.

Photo Credits: Inessa Mülts

There are a number of events and places you should visit to make your Christmas special in Tartu.  It is always exciting to waiting for Christmas and celebrating the end of year but no matter where you spend your holiday, no matter whom you spend with, the important thing is appreciating the whole year and starting a new year with fresh energy and cheers. I hope your holidays will be full of joy and love.