The name Martin has itself been "downsized", with its Estonian version becoming Mart and Märt centuries ago. They are not called trick-or-treaters, but mardi/sandid or Mart's beggars. They do ultimately trick or treat by visiting homes and asking to be let in by singing or chanting an archaic verse or two. Once inside, they perform for treats, but may also present riddles called mõistatused or challenge the host family to a dare or some sort of test of skill. If you are into saving money, resources and the environment and if you love downsizing, upcycling and do-it-yourself'ing, then mardipäev in Estonia is your perfect alternative to the spend-fest that Hallowe'en has largely become in the West. You only have to push the holiday ahead by a little over a week to November 10th, the eve before the actual day.
Kadripäev or St. Katherine's Day is your next chance to practise a similar, more down-to-earth fall ritual. This is also a trick-or-treat type evening on Nov. 25. The attire is white and the sex of the sandid or beggars makes a switch to (at least seem) female. The Estonian Open Air Museum is celebrating kadripäev more extensively this year. Go to www.evm.ee and scroll down to "24. novembril tähistame kadrilaupäeva!" The text is available in Estonian.
Riina Kindlam, Tallinn
Eesti Elu Nr. 20 - 20. mai 2022 DIGILEHT
Kõik numbrid koos sisukorraga: www.issuu.com/estonianlife
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