Spending Shrove Tuesday in Tallinn might be the best experience you have this winter. Grab your sledge, and after a fun day, warm up with bean soup, and satisfy your sweet tooth with eating a bun with whipped cream.
In many places, Shrove Tuesday is known as Pancake Day. In Estonia, we eat pancakes on Sundays anyway, so Shrove Tuesday is all about sledging, pea soup and buns. Shrove Tuesday is a really fun day because it is celebrated in the Christian tradition, one day before the Lent period. To have a good meal and some fun, people used to sledge, eat and dance until late at night. Now, it is more a celebration of anticipation of spring. It is celebrated on a different day each year and can be either in February or March, just seven weeks before Easter. In the past, it was said that the farther you slid down a hill, the longer your flax stems would grow in the summer. Since not many people grow flax in Estonia nowadays, it is now said that it will bring good luck. And since good luck is a great thing, you should definitely find a small hill and go for a ride with your sledge! The best place for it is the Song Festival Grounds, where you can roll down the hill with other grownups and kids and have some fun!
Traditionally, a pig was slaughtered for Christmas, and since nothing would go to waste, by Shrove Tuesday, the only remaining things were pig's feet. They were boiled and served with a bean soup, that we still eat on Shrove Tuesday. This thick and comforting soup is a great way to warm up. For a dessert, you should eat a sweet bun with a topping of whipped cream. You can find them in all the stores and cafes. But be warned – since everyone is on a hunt for the perfect bun that day, you better be early not to be left empty handed. The best traditional buns are in the restaurant Peppersack in Tallinn. These tasty buns with generously added whipped cream are to die for!
If you happen to spend Shrove Tuesday in Tallinn, don’t miss out on a chance to follow all the traditions. It’s a great way to enjoy the weather and have some fun as a kid for one day. Shrove Tuesday is all about fun, laughter and good time!
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