Another day beginning and a new year of Estonian sovereignty is marked. This Monday all Estonian are celebrating the 96th country’s birthday and I wanted to attended to most of the things programmed. It is the third time I am in Tallinn on this day (see 2011 and 2013) and comparing the weathers give a impressive view on how much the temperature raised in four years.
Missing the official flag raising
After having advice students to wake up in the very early morning and to go to Toompea where the national blue-white-black flag will be raised, I couldn’t motivate myself enough and slept in. It is only two hours later that I was in the town for walking. The streets were all desert, no bus, no car, no people. I met few once in the central market square and noticed that no fence were put as usual on Harju tee.
A little bit surprised I stepped in the Tourism Office and asked about it. The answer upset me: no parade and no fireworks were parts of the day. Budget economies they said. The woman was kind and advised me some activities that may interest me. A concert was hold in the House of the Brotherhood of the Blackhead, another in the Cathedral at night and a speech will be pronounce at the Maarjamäe War Memorial.
Walking alone in the town
Since nothing was going in the morning and I didn’t want to go back home, I have been walking in the empty old town waiting for my concert. In Toompea I met my friendly seagale again, still asking for food to the tourists.
The Brotherhood of Blackheads, this powerful merchants guild had several houses in the Baltic. They have a impressive house in Riga but a very small and less fancy here in Estonia. From the outside you should observe very carefully the doors to no miss that small entrance in Pikk street. A small black guy graved in the wood will welcome you.
A special big band was giving a concert, all the introduction talk was in Estonian, then I didn’t understand the why-who-how. I just had to enjoy the music in the warm room 🙂
Maarjamäe War Memorial
I didn’t stay to listen all the concert and ran to the tram to Ülemiste where was the second official ceremony of the day. Some politics have given a speech to about 50 people, me including. I must recognise that it is not a lot 🙂 Most of them where elderly, some young children were there too.
The ceremony started with a man coming with a flame to put on fire the wooden pyramid that will heat us for the next half hour. Then six soldiers shot fire to the sky. While officials made their speeches people were putting flowers on the memorial.
I spend after that couple of minutes around the fire, getting warmer. Many Estonian grandma came to talk to me and despite I couldn’t understand and talk with them they keep saying me things with a large smile 🙂 It was very cute! To finish the ceremony, they all had a souper offered near the monument, a long queue was formed and I left them there to go to catch my tram. My day was finish and should sort all the photos I’ve taken.