Estonia gets cold and dark at the beginning of the winter. So to keep us warm in hearts, the Christmas Market at Tallinn Old Town starts in the middle of November and turns the center into a magical winter paradise.
The Christmas Market preparations start with, of course, finding the most beautiful tree in the whole of Estonia. For that, a contest is held and everyone who has a Christmas tree worthy of being placed in the center of Raekoja Square can nominate it. The decorations on the tree change every year and are carefully chosen. In the year 2019, the main focus is on heart-shaped decorations, since Christmas represent the most heartfelt holiday. Raekoja Square will transform into a winter paradise. The market is not the biggest, but it was voted the Best Christmas Market in Europe in the year 2018.
Raekoja Square has been a central market since the Middle Ages and people have always come together there for celebrations. The first Christmas tree stood there already in the year 1441, and it is believed that it was the first Christmas tree in the world. The traditions are being kept, and the Christmas Market takes place from the middle of November until the beginning of January at the square. There is a large stage to enjoy various concerts and shows. And, of course, kiosks where you can buy local souvenirs, Christmas decorations, and traditional food and drinks. For kids, there is a merry-go-round and other games and activities to keep them entertained.
Estonians tend to eat hearty meals during Christmas time. Some of the dishes that you can find on the Estonian Christmas table are aspic, sauerkraut, blood sausages, and pork. On the Christmas market, you can try all of them. Blood sausages might not sound very appetizing, consisting of pork, barley, animal blood, and spices, but they are actually delicious, especially served with lingonberry jam. Sauerkraut consists of a massive amount of C-vitamin to get you through the winter healthy, and pork will keep your tummy full for a long time. To wash it all down and keep you warm, you can buy a mulled wine in a cup. It is available both with and without alcohol. If you want to have a proper meal and admire the Christmas Market from further away, the best choices are medieval restaurant Olde Hansa just around the corner and the Medieval pub Draakon III. These places will go out of their way to make you feel as if you have stepped into the 15th century.
In Estonia, Christmas starts early, and its magic truly shines out at the Tallinn Christmas Market. This market in Raekoja Square transforms into a magical winter paradise from the middle of November until the beginning of January.
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