Tartu gets ready for the wedding

  • 2010-07-08
  • By Ella Karapetyan

By Ella Karapetyan

TARTU - Tartu Hanseatic Days, which will take place from July 16 - 18, invites all citizens and guests to a Hanseatic wedding. This time the Tartu Hanseatic Days focus is on reviving Medieval wedding traditions - a courageous knight from a country far away beyond the seas, together with his chosen one, a loveable lady of the city, known for her good manners, will enter into holy matrimony. There will be a wedding ceremony that introduces wedding traditions from centuries ago and where everyone can participate as a guest.

The young couple, passionately in love with each other, have already exchanged holy vows and engagement rings a year ago, but will only now celebrate their marriage with all the people of the city.
According to the organizers of the wedding ceremony, on this important occasion it would be appropriate for everyone who wants to congratulate the newlyweds to personally bring a flower or a more generous present to Town Hall Square. “This nice couple, whose names I’m going to keep in secret till the celebration day, is coming from far away to Tartu to have their wedding ceremony here. We hope that the picture they will take with Hanseatic guests will be the crown jewel of their family album and will always remind them of this important day,” says Ants Johanson, the project manager of Tartu Hanseatic Days.

In honor of the wedding party the best musicians, singers and dancers from old European countries will perform on the big stage on Tartu Town Hall Square. The best cooks and beer masters of Tartu will bring out their fancy festive dishes and each and everyone from and visiting Tartu will have a place at the long wedding table, where tasty food and sweet mead will be served to the guests. In order to avoid pressing crowds and mass riots, all those respectable men and women of the city who buy a beer mug made specifically for this day can be among the first to choose their place at the wedding table.
“Dear citizens and visitors from afar! Everyone is welcome to the wedding party, where we will all raise our mugs in order to praise the virtues of the newlyweds and wish them a long and plentiful life together!” says Johanson.

All the visitors to the Tartu Hanseatic Days are expected at the festival in a costume that corresponds to the historical period. The easiest way to have a Hansa style costume is to make a long straight cut shirt that was characteristic to the Early Middle Ages. The kind of shirt that extends to the ankles was worn then and can be worn now by both men and women. All you need is enough linen fabric and a bit of thicker rope, made of natural material, for a belt. A. Le Coq will reward the most authentic costume wearers with little mementos or snacks.
The traditions of the Hanseatic movement were revived in Tartu thirteen years ago - in 1996 - when the Tartu Hanseatic

Days began to take place in summer. The bustle in the town center has become the highlight of the summer for the citizens of Tartu and for tourists. The festival will once again bring to life different ages. All of them have their own special activities, workshops and performers. Hundreds of merchants find their way to Tartu and create a certain atmosphere at the annual Hansa Market.

Visitors can enjoy strengthening meals and refreshing drinks. The variety of goods offered is going to be excellent. This year one can also hear a lot of pipe music - the international wind music festival Murtsub Pill (Cheering Horn) will be taking place at the same time. The Tartu Hanseatic Days 2010 offer excitement and participation, fun and thrill, both for the big and small ones.

As the name suggests, this year’s highlight is going to be brass music, which the guests can enjoy during the summer’s biggest festival in Tartu. According to the organizers of the festival, Tartu Hanseatic Days and Murtsub Pill festivals are combined this year so the guests are offered even more spectacular musical events.

During the Murtsub Pill festival there will be several different brass bands from Estonia and from abroad performing. Murtsub Pill will start on July 14 and will end with the Tartu Hanseatic Days on July 18 with the joint final ceremony. Thus, the Rae Town, which will come to life during the Tartu Hanseatic Days, is going to concentrate mainly on brass band music.
In the framework of the Murtsub Pill festival, different orchestras from the Czech Republic, Latvia, Finland, Sweden and, of course, Estonia, will gather in Tartu, where all the guests can enjoy a big joint festival of wind bands and symphonic wind bands, conducted by Vilis Kokamagi, from Latvia, as well as woodwind band and brass band festivals conducted by Colin Cranson from the UK, and many others.

As before, during the festival the guests are welcome to visit hanseatic times in the Jaani Town, ancient times in the River Town, contemporary times in Rae Town, Children’s and Future Town and the energetic Hansa market.
This year all the Tartu Hanseatic Days’ cities will offer special events. “I am delighted to see that the Hanseatic Days bring again a joyful party mood and lots of visitors to mid-summery Tartu! The long program with its numerous concerts, workshops, performances and other exciting events offers the visitors of the Hanseatic Days many enjoyable moments. You will surely find many interesting things at the bountiful counters of the Hanseatic market as well,” says Urmas Kruuse, mayor of Tartu. “Let’s enjoy the party and good company and I hope that the Hanseatic Days will sound in the souls of all the visitors much longer than these three summer days!”

While visiting  Jaani Town one will find the spirit of the Middle Ages in the historic heart of the city of Tartu, near Jaani Church and Antoniuse Guild. Old music sounds, the jester’s jingles tinkle and medieval dances are going to take the stage in Jaani Town this year. Harmonic Hanseatic Days will offer many performances, workshops, concerts and plays for the visitors of Jaani Town. The handicraft masters and traders from far and near will display their best works. One will have a unique chance to test his strength and skills in medieval games and competitions in the Toy Museum and on Lutsu Street.
According to a legend, late on a Friday night, when the town is quiet, strange things happen in Jaani Town. The legend says that here, a real medieval fair spirit comes to life in the darkness of the night, together with tricks and fireworks.
Hundreds of traders will sell their unique handicrafts made of traditional or natural materials, interesting goods and foods, and introduce medieval handicraft skills. The visitors of Hansamarket can choose from among necessary, interesting or just funny hand-made things.

The Hansamarket will be held in the Town Hall square, Kuuni Street alley, Kaubahoovi square, Ulikooli Street, Tartu County Town on Pirogovi Park, River Town and Jaani Town. The Hansamarket unites different ages into one big party of ages, towns, cultures and trade and makes Tartu Hanseatic Days a merry and joyful party.
One can enjoy different cuisines in numerous places on Town Hall square, Poe Street, Vabaduse Street and River Town. One can find Estonian, Italian, Chinese, Armenian and Balkan national cuisines, pancakes and pork cooked over an open fire, as well as ‘Lapi salmon’ and grilled fish. One can also find smoked meat and fish. If one fancies something sweet, he can find different kinds of ice-cream, candy floss, confectioneries and pastries. Also, if you feel like having a snack, you can have almonds, dried fish, freshly fermented cucumbers or berries.

At the Farmer’s Market one can buy home-style fresh honey, home-grown vegetables and berries, peas, organic products, medicinal herbs and cooking herbs, sea buckthorn products, elk sausage, smoked quail, different kinds of cheeses and home-made cosmetics.
Children’s and Future Town offers all kinds of games for children, to have fun, make crafts, blow a whistle, draw, and to develop their creativity.