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Jaanipäev or Midsummer 2023

Experience the traditions and feel the magic of Midsummer night

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Midsummer, also known as St John's Day, is a beloved holiday celebrated by both young and old, involving all of the family. Many families build a small bonfire in their own back yard and host a barbeque. To villagers, this holiday means the end of farm spring sowing and the beginning of summer hay-making. In Estonian language, Jaanipäev means Jaan’s day. There is a tradition to count how many men named Jaan came to the party.

Throughout the whole Estonia, people build a high jaani bonfire and light it up at night. A beach is a perfect place to make a fire and spend a warm white night outside. Big-city residents often head to small fishing villages for some authentic Jaanipäev celebrations. Kihnu Island is especially renowned for its magnificent bonfires. Closer to Tallinn, large bonfires are arranged at Viimsi Open Air Museum located in Pringi, a village in Viimsi Parish, located 6 mi (10 km) from the capital. In Tallinn, visitors and locals can take part in a colorful celebration in Skoone Bastion and The Estonian Open Air Museum.

Local dance groups, choirs, and ensembles give concerts at jaani bonfires in Tallinn. One more tradition is to jump over the fire. This is believed to protect from wicked spirits and give strength and faith. This is a magical night when lots of miracles may happen and even treasures can be found.

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