Tartu Village of Light 2018, Source: Kiur Kaasik for Tartu City Government

Tartu marks Christmas with a Village of Light

Tartu marks Christmas with a Village of Light

A mirror greenhouse transformed into a shining spider web is among the most spectacular sights

Tartu, which is preparing for its turn as a European Capital of Culture in 2024, is now competing with arch-rival Tallinn for the creation of the most beautiful Christmas village in Estonia.

Based on glass instead of wood, the so-called Village of Light will cover half of Town Hall Square as of 1 December and can be seen until the middle of January.

It will comprise 19 glass pavilions including shadow pavilion and mirror pavilion, as well as henhouse and horse stable. The pavilions will feature the University of Tartu (which celebrates its 100th anniversary), Science Centre AHHA, the Theatre Vanemuine (marking its 150th jubilee) among others.

And of course, all the pavilions will be spectacularly lit, making the most of their glass structure. Among the most jaw-dropping sights is a mirror greenhouse, which is transformed into a shining spider web with the help of ultraviolet lights and mirrors. Valgusklubi (The Light Club), a NGO that organizes the Tartu Architectural Lighting and Light Art Festival (TAVA) is behind most of the lighting solutions.

Events around and in the Village include lighting of Advent candles, Santa Winter Games, a Christmas fair, a snowball party for charity, readings of fairy tales by appointed City Writers of Tartu, workshops, animal carousels and choirs singing.

Christmas Tree donated by a university

Tartu's Christmas Tree will be erected in the centre of the Square and will stay there until January 17. The 21 meters high conifer grown in Järvselja, 45-kilometer away, is a gift of the Estonian University of Life Sciences which celebrates the Centennial of higher forest education in the country. 

Another academic institution - the Estonian Academy of Arts –cooperates in this year's Christmas Village completion, providing the help of students from its Faculty of Design. And lest we forget, last year’s Light Village design took home the Annual Award from the Estonian Landscape Architects’ Union.

The Village of Light will be the coziest place in Tartu this winter with crackling fires in all the pavilions where you can enjoy a cup of hot tea or coffee while admiring the exhibits.



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