Cultural events in Tallinn in August & September
Check out these wonderful, fun and inspiring events to visits while in Tallinn this August and September!
Summer’s last month is all about the Birgitta Festival. September, however, will kick-start the autumn with Tallinn Marathon and Design Night.
until September 2
Nargenfestival, founded by Tõnu Kaljuste, is the longest and most diverse summer cultural festival in Estonia.
Nargenfestival offers a culturally diverse programme as always – from folk music to the world-class classical music. Performances take place in Tallinn’s churches, on the island of Naissaar (Isle of Women or Nargen in German) and other locations scattered all over the country.
An important part of the Nargenfestival events take place in Omar’s barn, Lõuna village, on Naissaar (N59°54′ E24°53′). Naissaar is within eyeshot of Tallinn. Sometimes it is inspiring to cast a glance towards Tallinn from the sea as you’re travelling to the island.
July 17 – 29
The Estonian Maritime Museum and the History Institute of Tallinn University present never before seen rare items and the latest discoveries about the Viking Age in Estonia. The exhibition at Fat Margaret’s Tower highlights the importance of Estonia as a part of the North-European and Arabic trade route. Research shows that in those days locals were heavily involved in trading, thanks to which, today, there are many invaluable archaeological finds.
Photo by Estonian Maritime Museum
August 13 – 21
Birgitta Festival is one of the highlights of the summer’s cultural calendar. The festival combines the dark charm of the medieval St Bridget’s Convent Ruins in Tallinn with the latest in modern musical theatre in all its variety and richness.
August 12 – January 15, 2017
This exhibition put together by the Swedish History Museum introduces the culture of the Vikings between 8th to 12th century and brings many original items to Estonia. Vikings are well-known all over the world. Many of us know Vikings as brutal invaders, but few know more about their culture or society. The myth of Vikings wearing helmets with horns, for example, was created centuries later. The exhibition opens up Viking society through rare items on show.
August 25 – 28
The Corelli Music festival “Towers of Tallinn” brings together the history of Tallinn and contemporary compositions by introducing the city’s famous silhouette inside out through a wide range of music. The medieval towers of the city wall, the churches, the modern skyscrapers – the whole city will be filled with music.
This is a heart-warming tradition brought back to life. According to tradition, bonfires were to be lit at sunset on the seashore to guide faraway sailors back home. Today many seaside sights and museums carry the tradition on, along with additional concert programmes. The Seaplane Harbour, Estonian Open Air Museum and Viimsi Open Air Museum are among the regular participants.
The events, which are free of charge, take place in Tallinn from noon to midnight, and there is something for all ages.
Culture Night invites culture enthusiasts to concerts, theatre performances, museums and galleries as well as excursions and workshops on the last Saturday of August.
Until October 30
The grand exhibition will bring joy to fashion devotees, showing the clothing culture and lifestyle of the second half of the 19th century.
The display of 50 costumes and 150 accessories at the exhibition has been put together on the basis of Vassiliev’s collections by Alexandre Vassiliev himself, together with the fashion designer Marion Laev. The title of the exhibition refers to the dominant emotion of the 19th century – melancholy – which the poet Charles Baudelaire described using the term spleen. The Alexandre Vassiliev Foundation owns nearly 10,000 historical costumes from the 18th to the 20th centuries, and new items are constantly added to the collection.
September 9 – 11
As with other international city marathons, the route of the Tallinn Marathon will pass through the most famous part of the city, the Old Town, then the modern city centre, taking the runners to many famous sights. The SEB Tallinn Marathon is the largest sports event in the Baltic region. The event includes a marathon, half marathon and 10 km race. Walkers and Nordic walkers are also welcome to stroll the route. Opening ceremony and children’s as well as youth races (4 km) will take place on the Saturday before the main event, along with the 10km race.
September 15 – 18
Tallinn Design Festival introduces the ideas behind future design and meditates upon the changes and trends which cause shifts in the field of design.
Through seminars, workshops, exhibitions, fashion shows, film programmes, talks and other festival events, Design Night will try to present new knowledge and experience in this field of art.
The aim of this annual festival in Kadriorg Park is to celebrate the end of summer and beginning of autumn. Thousands of candles are lit all over the park and light installations installed. Traditionally, the festival goes hand-in-hand with a programme of concerts by local artists and a light show to end the evening.
September 16 – 30
The Autumn Jazz festival celebrates the changing colours outside with heart-warming jazz rhythms in various concert venues in Tallinn.
A Traditional autumn fair at the Estonian Open Air Museum on a day celebrating rye bread. The process of making rye bread is demonstrated, starting from threshing and grain grinding until tasting the finished fresh product.
Other exciting local dishes and elements of traditional food culture are also introduced. Delicious Estonian food and authentic handicrafts can be purchased from the autumn fair.