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Official tourism site of Tartu and Tartu County

Advent brings the Christmas spirit to the centre of Tartu


On the first Sunday of Advent, lights will be lit on the Christmas tree and the brand new ice rink in Tartu Town Hall Square.


The Village of Light, with its cosy calm traffic area, awaits residents of Tartu and visitors to the city to spend Christmas time in the city centre.


This year, Town Hall Square will not be hosting the usual crowded social events, such as the lighting of Advent candles on Sundays and the Winter Dance Festival. However, on 12 December, a traditional Christmas market will be held, the traders of which will be scattered along Küüni Street.


In the Village of Light, which consists of 18 small houses, animal carousels revolve around you, and many of the glass pavilions can be entered. Whether it is to buy gingerbread, waffles and hot tea, lounge in the straw pavilion, enjoy a movie or watch the family of chickens.


The Estonian National Museum and Theatre Vanemuine will be doing their part to make the holiday season brighter and more fabulous with their houses. Third year decorators from the Tartu Art School will be installing an interactive lighting installation in one house.


This year, writers and poets will be given a glass pavilion to present their literary performances. Taking place on 1 December, the event – celebrating the 5th anniversary of the designation of Tartu as a UNESCO City of Literature – will bring several dozen literary guests from across Estonia to Town Hall Square, where they will present their creative works.


The luminance and beauty of Advent will remain for the entire period that the Village of Light is open on Town Hall Square. This is a place to bring the greatest desire within your soul.


As always, you can enjoy sleigh or pony rides in the city centre during Christmas, and from time to time you can enjoy the performance of a fire dance or a science theatre presentation. In addition, you can enjoy the cosy calm traffic area between the glass pavilions, where a live fire will be crackling.


Starting on the first day of Advent, a nearly 1000-square-metre ice rink will open around the Kissing Students sculpture and fountain, where you can skate under starry skies until 17 February. Use of the skating rink is free for people, and skates can be rented from the nearby pavilion. The skating rink is open Mon–Wed 15–22, Thu–Fri 12–22 (from 12–15 priority is given to school reservations), and Sat–Sun 10–22.


The Village of Light in Town Hall Square is open from 29 November through 10 January from 9–21.


Traders can be found in the Village of Light café Mon–Fri 17–21, and Sat–Sun 11–21.


The skating rink café is open Mon–Fri 16–21, and Sat–Sun 10–21.


Due to the restrictions on gathering enacted due to the spread of the coronavirus, Tartu residents and visitors are invited to spend time scattered about Town Hall Square this year, while enjoying the fresh air and Christmas spirit.


The programme for the Village of Light and several other Christmastime events in Tartu can be found at

Last updated: 25.02.2022

Silver Gutmann