03 January 2011

Tallinn Santa Market

When I visited my brother in Holland some time ago, there was a big "Sinter" - or "Christmas" - market going on in Maastricht, where he was studying. Since then we've jokingly referred to all things Christmas as "Sintery." Sinter cookies, Sinter eve, Sinter caroling, etc... Rebecca changed the word to "Santa" for comic effect. So, when we came face to face with Tallinn's Christmas market, in the Raekoja plats, it was dubbed "Santa market." The name stuck because Rebecca insisted that we call it that.
It's one of the best in Europe, according to the city website. There were blood sausages and potatoes frying all through the day and many Hoogvein (mulled wine, or Glögg) stands, so the air was nicely perfumed and the snow was splashed a shocking pink.
There were some great handicraft stores and some touristy, gimmicky stands. This one, above, was a favorite because of the baby booties.
This is a pretty good representation of how Tallinn women look - lots of fur, high boots, some leg showing in between, near an ATM.
There were plenty of tourists, but also a lot of locals passing through. The town hall square is very central, so we walked through many times on our way from place to place.
At night, bands and DJ's took over a small stage on one side. Sometimes they played Christmas music, sometimes they blasted Rihanna and Baltic dubstep. The tree was pretty, even when the music echoed tinnily up the narrow passages around the square.
Other than Glögg, we never bought anything at the market. It was too crowded most of the time to stop for long, and the snow was packed to a hard, slippery sheen. The Santa market was endearing, though, and we were a little sad to leave it behind.

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