2024 Public Holidays in Estonia

By | January 14, 2024

Public Holidays in Estonia in 2024

Introduction

Estonia, a Baltic country in Northern Europe, observes several public holidays throughout the year. These holidays hold cultural, historical, and religious significance for the Estonian people. In 2024, Estonia will celebrate a diverse array of holidays, each with its own traditions and customs.

National Holidays

New Year’s Day – January 1st

New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. In Estonia, it is celebrated with gatherings, parties, and fireworks displays. It is a time for reflection on the past year and anticipation for the year ahead. Many Estonians make resolutions and spend time with family and friends to welcome the new year.

Independence Day – February 24th

Independence Day commemorates the declaration of independence of Estonia from the Russian Empire in 1918. It is the most significant national holiday in Estonia, celebrated with patriotic fervor and pride. The day typically features official ceremonies, flag-raising ceremonies, parades, and cultural events. It is a time to honor the nation’s history, achievements, and contributions to the world.

Good Friday – Date varies (Christian calendar)

Good Friday is observed by Christians worldwide as the day of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death. In Estonia, where Christianity is one of the dominant religions, it is a solemn and reflective day. Many Estonians attend church services and participate in religious processions and rituals to mark the occasion. Good Friday is a public holiday in Estonia, providing an opportunity for people to observe the religious significance of the day.

Easter Sunday – Date varies (Christian calendar)

Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, according to Christian belief. It is the most important and joyous day in the Christian liturgical calendar. In Estonia, Easter Sunday is celebrated with church services, festive meals, and the exchange of Easter eggs and other traditional treats. Families often gather for Easter brunch or dinner to celebrate the holiday together.

May Day – May 1st

May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, is observed worldwide to honor the contributions of workers to society. In Estonia, it is a public holiday that is celebrated with rallies, marches, and other events organized by labor unions and workers’ organizations. May Day is also a time for relaxation and leisure, with many people enjoying picnics, concerts, and outdoor activities.

Victory Day – June 23rd

Victory Day commemorates the victory of Estonian forces over the German Freikorps units in the Battle of Võnnu (Cēsis) during the Estonian War of Independence in 1919. It is celebrated with official ceremonies, military parades, and cultural events. Victory Day holds special significance for Estonians as a symbol of their resilience, courage, and determination in defending their independence and sovereignty.

Midsummer Day – June 24th

Midsummer Day, also known as St. John’s Day, is a traditional holiday celebrated in Estonia and other Baltic countries. It marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and is associated with ancient pagan customs and rituals. In Estonia, Midsummer Day is celebrated with bonfires, folk dances, and traditional songs. It is a time for people to gather with family and friends, enjoy outdoor festivities, and celebrate the beauty of nature.

Day of Restoration of Independence – August 20th

The Day of Restoration of Independence commemorates the restoration of Estonia’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It is a significant national holiday, celebrated with official ceremonies, flag-raising ceremonies, concerts, and cultural events. The day holds special significance for Estonians as a symbol of their struggle for freedom and democracy. It is a time to reflect on the nation’s history and achievements since regaining independence.

Christmas Day – December 25th

Christmas Day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and is one of the most important Christian holidays worldwide. In Estonia, it is a time for religious observance, family gatherings, and festive celebrations. People decorate their homes with Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments, and exchange gifts with loved ones. Churches hold special services, including Midnight Mass, to mark the occasion.

Boxing Day – December 26th

Boxing Day, also known as the Second Day of Christmas, is observed in several countries, including Estonia. It is a day for relaxation and spending time with family and friends after the busy festivities of Christmas Day. Many people continue to celebrate the holiday with additional gatherings, meals, and activities.

Table of Public Holidays and Days Off

Holiday Date Days Off Groups
New Year’s Day January 1 1 All
Independence Day February 24 1 All
Good Friday Variable 1 All (especially Christians)
Easter Sunday Variable 1 All (especially Christians)
May Day May 1 1 All
Victory Day June 23 1 All
Midsummer Day June 24 1 All
Day of Restoration of Independence August 20 1 All
Christmas Day December 25 1 All (especially Christians)
Boxing Day December 26 1 All

 

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