Christmas Market, Estonia

There are many reasons to love winter in Estonia.  For me, the best part is that the old town in Tallinn turns into a winter wonderland.  It’s so beautiful to see the old city covered in snow.  Another highlight is the Christmas Market in town hall square.  It doesn’t quite feel like the holiday season until the tree goes up in the middle of the city…  and the holiday spirit lingers until after the market is taken down the after the first week of January.

This year, we got a little shorted on the snow.  Not only did we not have a white Christmas, we only had one sort of snowy day the whole month of December.  But, it doesn’t even matter once the Christmas market is up and running!Image

In addition to selling tons of Estonian handicrafts, gifts, and souveniers, the Christmas Market is widely known for its Glogi.  The Estonian mulled wine is extremely popular in the winter, and delicious.

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Most of the stalls selling wine also have a variety of add ins that you can choose from to make life a bit more interesting.  Fruit?  Nuts?  My personal favorite is raisins.  Because there is something poetic about taking a grape, dehydrating it, and then rehydrating it in the fermented juice of more grapes.

Basically, the Christmas market is fun for adults.  A chance to grasp at a little of the left over childhood whimsy…  but for kids, I think it would be just as fun.

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Santa’s got his own house.

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As do the reindeer.  Oh, yeah.  There’s reindeer.

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There’s even a little four person carousel!

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Lots of lights, all around.

But then, as much fun as it is, the Christmas Market has to go away at the end of the season.  Town Hall Square never looks quite so big to me as it does the first day I see it after the market stalls are all taken away.

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(Finally snowed…)  And now the square will look so big until the summer, when all the restaurants put out their terraces, making it smaller, but much more lively and fun.

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