Eesti Elu
TÄNAVALT (From the street)
Eestlased Eestis 07 Jan 2011  Eesti Elu
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is a new column dedicated to bringing you words and messages from the streets of Estonia, thereby introducing what's going on, what's being promoted and how, public service announcements and any other interesting messages for the masses. The intention is not to advertise, but to serve as a cultural telescope to access the word on the street. This will hopefully promote thought and discussion, as well as the acquisition of new words and expressions in Estonian.
 - pics/2011/01/30936_1_t.jpg

"Bring your old Christmas tree to the Fire Sculpture World Championships!" MM = maailma/meistri/võistlused (one word). This will be the 11th year the Valgusfestival (Festival of Light) has brightened up Tallinn. Its highlight is the “Tule ja jää pidu” (Fire and Ice Celebration), including the lighting of fire sculptures and Christmas trees, which people are asked to bring to various collection sites around the city from January 7th to the 15th.

The tradition of burning fir trees harks back to pre-Christian folk traditions: in order to revere and invigorate the sun, people lit "fires of joy". They believed that lighting fires during the dark winter period would help the sun grow strong and protect the land from cold and evil spirits. After regaining independence, the tradition of burning Christmas trees was revived. The ancient was tied to the modern, entertainment along with green thinking – the fire offered a spectacle and the city environment was kept clean. The adaptation of the triangular recycling “taaskasutus” symbol is no doubt a familiar one. It is sometimes also called "circulation" – “ringlus”, as in the case of packaging – “pakendiringlus”.

Fire sculpture masters from all over the world will take part in this year's first ever Fire Sculpture World Championships, curated by Gunnar Carl Nilsson, founder of the world’s first Fire Sculptors Association. Nilsson organized the first European Fire Sculpture Championships in Stockholm in 1998. Semi-finals will be held January 16 and finals January 22. (

Snow sculptures and (lit) ice sculptures will provide a stark and theatrical, not to mention longer-lasting contrast to the art destined to become a "feast for fire" – “tuleroog”. Photo and text: Riina Kindlam, Tallinn
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