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▲Kathy Kiefer



Estonia – In the weeks preceding Christmas, children place a slipper in their windows and receive a piece of candy or some other sweets from visiting elves. Estonians celebrate Christmas on December 24th, which is referred to as jõululaupäev (“Christmas Saturday and is by act of Parliament a public holiday in Estonia). Each year on this day, the President of Estonia declares the Christmas Peace and attends a Christmas service. The tradition was initiated by the order of Queen Christina of Sweden in the 17th century. Estonian children are visited by “Old Man Christmas” on Christmas Eve and must sing songs or recite Christmas poems before receiving their gifts.

The evening meal typically includes pork with sauerkraut or Estonian sauerkraut, baked potatoes, white and blood sausage, potato salad with red beet, and pate. For dessert, Estonians eat gingerbread and marzipan. The most highly regarded drinks…

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