Tallinn Events and Festivals

(Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia)




Photo of local city stadiumMany celebrations take place throughout the year in Tallinn and the biggest festivals often have a strong Estonian theme. These events include the Estonian Music Days in April, and the Day of Tallinn each May.

This particular festival remembers when Tallinn gained its city rights and features a particularly grand opening ceremony to start the celebrations, at the Lühike Jalg Gate, along with music by the Estonian Defence Forces Orchestra and many further attractions and exhibitions. Close by in the nearby coastal city of Pärnu, look out for events such as the Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival and the Pärnu Opera Days, both of which take place every year in July.


Tallinn Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • Tudengijazz (Studentjazz Festival) - late January to late February, something for jazz and blues lovers everywhere, with concerts held all over Tallinn and also nearby, in both Viljandi and Tartu

February


  • Baroque Music Festival - throughout February, a historic event featuring classical music at its absolute best and attracting musicians and orchestras from all over Europe. Held at some of the best venues around central Tallinn

March


  • There are no significant events in Tallinn during the month of March

April


  • International Choir Festival - throughout April, a popular music festival heralding the arrival of spring and run by the Estonian Choral Association, who judge the ever-growing group of entrants and their diverse selection of musical styles
  • Estonian Music Days - throughout April, an established festival of some 30 years, celebrating some of the most noteworthy composers ever born in Estonia and featuring a selection of chamber music, symphony orchestras and more
  • Jazzkaar - throughout April, jazz lovers in Estonia descend on Tallinn during the Jazzkaar Festival, where jazz concerts and performances take place in a range of venues, such as both the Sakala Centre and Tallinn Town Hall
  • Harpsichord Days Festival - mid-April, a chance to enjoy endless harp playing in Tallinn and also close by, in towns such as Pärnu, Tartu and Viljandi. This event is run by the Estonian Harpsichord Society and is always a crown pleaser

May


  • Orient Music Festival - throughout May, many world-class artists play a range of music from the Far East, along with many other cultural displays and performances, including chanting by Tibetan Buddhists
  • Day of Tallinn - May 15th, an event not to be missed and of great historical significance to the city

June


  • Baltoscandal International Theatre Festival - June and July, an event which has gained considerable popularity since it began in 1990, held every two years close to Tallinn, in the neighbouring town of Rakvere
  • Old Town Days - throughout June, attracting huge crowds, who come to join in the festivities. Expect to find street entertainment, markets, live folk music, medieval-themed events and plenty of Estonian food for everyone
  • St. John's Day (Jaanipäev) - late June, a much-loved local event with Pagan origins, commencing with a large bonfire lit by the president of Estonia himself, followed by partying all through the night

July


  • Ollesummer - throughout July, one of Scandinavia's most popular beer festivals, held within the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds and also known for its array of live music performed by local groups
  • Glasperlenspiel - July and August, first held in the mid-1990s and gaining strength each year, the Glasperlenspiel takes place at the Pärnu Concert Hall, close to Tallinn, along with a number of venues within the city itself and also Tartu
  • Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival - throughout July, a chance to enjoy some quality films with a strong anthropological theme, judged by an international panel
  • International Folklore Festival BALTICA - mid-July, featured folk music, dancing, many Estonian traditions and many authentic costumes
  • Pärnu Opera Days - mid-July, a major operatic event within easy reach of Tallinn, held at Pärnu Concert Hall, in the town of Pärnu itself
  • International Organ Festival - late July to early August, many of Tallinn's churches participate in this event, when their enormous pipe organs are used by acclaimed organists

August


  • Birgitta Festival - mid-August, featuring a range of events, of which the classical music concerts are a real highlight and attract many well-known orchestras, such as the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and also the Estonian National Symphonic
  • Tallinn Pride - mid-August, lasting an entire week, featuring a parade and endless rainbow flags
  • August Dance Festival - late August, a true celebration of the various types of dancing enjoyed in Estonia and throughout the Baltic area today

September


  • Eesti Teatri Festival - throughout September, a five-day event held every other year in the nearby town of Tartu and organised by the Estonian Theatre Festival Foundation
  • Autumn Fair - mid-September, with a range of seasonal produce offered for sale on stalls at the Estonian Open Air Museum. The Tallinn Autumn Fair also features plenty of live music and hot food
  • Orthodox Music Festival 'Credo' - mid-September, a prominent international event, taking place at the Estonia Concert Hall and some central churches, lasting around four or five days

October


  • International Pianists Festival 'Klaver' - throughout October, dating back to the late 1990s and attracting huge numbers of acclaimed pianists, who perform to many hundreds of spectators. Expect to hear performances by some of the world's very best pianists
  • International New Music Festival NYYD - mid-October, many large concerts around Tallinn city centre aim to combine both classical Estonian music with a more worldly sound
  • RainbowJazz Festival - mid-October, a lively series of concerts, performed by youthful jazz artists, who come together to compete for the title

November


  • Tallinn FoodFest - throughout November, a event for the calendar of every serious foodie and guaranteed to make your mouth water, the Tallinn FoodFest always attracts large numbers of wholesalers, bakers and restaurateurs, along with crowds of hungry visitors
  • St. Martin's Day Fair - mid-November, with a large selection of Estonian handicrafts, costumed dancing, folk music and tasty local specialities - fun for all the family
  • Woodtec - mid-November, with everything you could possibly imagine to do with woodworking, at the Estonian Fairs Centre on Pirita Road
  • Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival - mid-November to early December, showcasing a host of different films for various audiences, ranging from cartoons for children, to thrillers for the grown-ups
  • Christmas Jazz - mid-November, many jazz concerts start Tallinn's extensive range of seasonal festivities and are held at central churches, theatres and similar venues

December


  • Christmas Market - early December, a chance to find the perfect stocking fillers, with many market traders selling their wares at Tallinn Town Hall Square. Live entertainment and a friendly atmosphere can also be expected
  • Christmas Village - mid-December, a seasonal event not to be missed, with folk dancing, traditional Christmas carols and many fun-filled events within the grounds of the Estonian Open Air Museum
  • Midwinter Night's Dream - mid to late December, a chance to enjoy a host of science-fiction films, with a definite futuristic theme. The festival also features a range of locally made Estonian documentaries and various workshops







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