Jaaniõhtu (Midsummer Eve – 23 June) and Jaanipäev (Midsummer Day, St John’s Day – 24 June) are the most important holidays in the Estonian calendar.
The Jaanipäev celebrations were merged with the celebration of Võidupüha (Victory Day) after the War of Independence, when the Estonian forces defeated the German troops on 23 June 1919.
So, we have long holiday 🙂
Jaanipäev is summer solstice and we say ” sun do not go down”. Even at 10 pm you can read book, because is enough light 🙂 This is the day, when all children has permission to be awake overnight.
To be honest. Because of global warming summer is not summer anymore. My birthday is 17th of June, and few years ago in my birthday was snowing !
And about Jaanipäev- yes we have bonfires, but usually exactly this evening is raining or lot of mosquitoes and.. this is not very fun:)
But still until today we believe: the lighting of the bonfire and jumping over it. This is a way of guaranteeing prosperity and avoiding bad luck.
In Estonian fairy tales and literature, there is a tale of two lovers, Koit (dawn) and Hämarik (dusk). These two lovers see each other only once a year and exchange the briefest of kisses on the shortest night of the year. Earth-bound lovers go into the forest looking for the “flower of the fern” which is said to bloom only on that night.
So, this is important day for young pars…:) and lot of grill and chill. And next morning you just need a sour and sweet soup. I do not call this Selyanka, because real Selyanka is little bit different. But very similar:) This is Selyanka-type soup. Continue reading “After Party Soup. Seljanka”
As You probably know, Estonians are the least religious nation.
The Estonian wordjõulud (Christmas) is of ancient Scandinavian origin and comes directly from the word Jul/ Hjul which means “cycle”, and has no real connection with Christianity.
In 22th of December the Sun rises in Estonia at 9. 17 a clock and sets at 15.22. So, we do not need any fairy tales. We have very practical reason to celebrate 🙂
Jõulud as the winter solstice , when the day is the shortest and the night the longest, is celebrated between December 21 and 25. According to folk-tradition, “the sun was laying in the nest” and the day was celebrated as the Sun’s birthday. From that day on, the Sun started to rise and move slowly to the north again.
Estonian type flat shape minced meat Kotlet, is served as main dish.
In some reason we have three different foods: meat balls, served usually in sauce. Small meat balls: frikadellid, we are using in soup. And ” kotlet”- what is flat shape minced meat “ball”. Kotlet is served as main dish with potato and sauce and salad.
600 g minced meat, best is 50% pork and 50% beef
1 clove garlic
1 choped onion
100 ml cold water
100 ml grated bread or slice of bread
– for coating grated black bread
In a medium bowl, pour cold water over bread
chop garlic and onion
Add to swollen bread onion, meat, egg
Mix carefully and season with salt, pepper
Form spoon size flat loafs
Dip the Kotlet into the coating (grated black bread) all sides
Bake in oven in to baking paper lined plate ca 20 min 200 C