Monday, 11 December 2017

The 2017 Gingerbread Mania theme is Tallinn's Old Town

Baking is taken seriously once a year in Tallinn. The 2017 Gingerbread Mania exhibition will blow your mind with Old Town themed baked treats. It is hard to believe that everything on display is made out of gingerbread. Simply wonderful!

The exhibition runs from the 9th December 2017 - 7th January 2018.

Coat of arms


Door knocker / handle

Notke's Danse Macabre 
The original artwork is currently on display in St. Nicholas Church.

For more information, please refer to the official website: Gingerbreadmania

Friday, 8 December 2017

World's oldest eye fossil found in Estonia

An "exceptional" 530-million-year-old fossil contains what could be the oldest eye ever discovered, according to scientists.

The remains of the extinct sea creature include an early form of the eye seen in many of today's animals, including crabs, bees and dragonflies.

Scientists made the find while looking at the well-preserved trilobite fossil.

These ancestors of spiders and crabs lived in seas during the Palaeozoic era, between 541-251 million years ago.

They found the ancient creature had a primitive form of compound eye, an optical organ that consists of arrays of tiny visual cells, called ommatidia, similar to those of present-day bees.

The team, which included a researcher from Edinburgh University, said their findings suggested that compound eyes had changed little over 500 million years.

To read the full BBC news article, please click here: Researchers find 'oldest ever eye' in fossil

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Rakvere produces another fine Christmas tree

It has become somewhat of a tradition in Rakvere in recent years to construct a uniquely designed  Christmas tree. For the past five years local designers have wowed onlookers with their creative and innovative designs, often leaving them wondering what will be next. This year's tree was designed by Teet Suur and is an interactive tree featuring many doors for vistors to walk around and explore.  Looks great!

More information about the tree can be found here: Teet Suur loob Rakveres viiendat korda ilmaimet

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Eesti Pank to release four commemorative coins to mark the centenary of the Republic of Estonia

On the 21st February 2018 Eesti Pank will issue four coins in honour of the centenary of the Republic of Estonia. The collector series will include a gold and silver coin plus two 2 Euro coins which will go into regular circulation.

Gold Coin
The gold coin has a nominal value of 100 Euros and features the Estonian national flower, the cornflower. The symbols on the coin represent perfect happiness, development and balance. The coin was designed by Tiiu Pirsko and Mati Veermets, and 3000 of the coins will be minted.

Silver Coin
The silver coin has a design featuring the outline of Estonia in blue, black and white on a globe. In the sky above is a line of poetry by Kristjan Jaak Peterson “Is not the language of this land singing in the wind, or rising to heaven, looking for eternity?” The coin was designed by Margus Kadarik and Toomas Niklus, and 7000 of the coins will be minted with a nominal value of 10 Euros.

Circulating Two Euro Coins
The two-Euro coin with the special design dedicated to the centenary of the Republic of Estonia features the official national logo for the jubilee, which can be read as the numbers 18 and 100, linking the year the state was founded with today. The coin was designed by the concept and design agency Identity OÜ. The coin is intended to symbolise the people of Estonia, and so 1,317,800 coins will be minted to match the population of Estonia on 1 January 2017 according to data from Statistics Estonia.

The two-euro coin with the special design for the centenary of the Baltic states will enter circulation on 31 January 2018. The design of the coin shows the common past, present and future of the Baltic states as a single plaited braid. The coin was designed by the Lithuanian designer Justas Petrulis, who designed a coin for the first time. The design for the coin was chosen through a public vote. The same design of the coin will be issued into circulation in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  Eesti Pank will issue 500,000, the Latvian central bank 512,000 and the Lithuanian central bank one million coins.

Source: Eesti Pank

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Home for Christmas!

Last year I had a wonderful Christmas in Tallinn. It was such a joy to stroll around the Christmas market sipping on Glögi whilst listening to live music. I can't wait to do it again. This year, after quite a long absence, I plan to spend Christmas with my family in Australia. It's been six years since I spent Christmas with them all so the re-union is very much overdue. I have a few new nieces and nephews that I have only met once so to celebrate Christmas with them for the first time should be quite special.

I decided to take an extended holiday to Australia. I will be there for two months in total. It would be a great opportunity to catch up with everyone and escape the chilly European  winter for a while. I checked the weather report yesterday and it stated it was 28 degrees  in Sydney. Fantastic! I can't wait to get out of my winter coat!

I have many fun things planned for my trip and one of the highlights will be to attend the annual Christmas party at Sydney's Eesti Maja. I have attended several events at Estonian House in the past but never their Christmas party. I always enjoy spending time with the local Estonian community and I'm looking forward to eating some traditional Estonian food again!

The only thing I am dreading is the jetlag. It usually takes me four day to properly adjust to the new timezone. It's furstrating because I will want to go out and do things yet I know, by early afternoon, the tiredness will take hold. But  I guess I have no choice but to endure it. It's short lived after all.

I will post photos from the Estonian Christmas party so you can see how it's done in Sydney compared to your city. 

Not long to go now, I fly out this Thursday!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Kihnu - The Island Where Women Rule

On the little island of Kihnu, seven miles off the coast of Estonia, women run the show. The island still functions as one of the last matriarchal societies left in the world. Historically, Kihnu’s men spend most of the year fishing at sea in order to provide for their families back home. In their absence, the women lead the community of 400 strong, cultivating a vibrant folk culture while protecting and preserving their ancient traditions. Kihnu Island is a fascinating place that is definitely worth a visit!