Capital City: Tallinn
Estonia is a Baltic state in Northern Europe. It has land borders with Latvia and Russia. With a coastline on the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, Estonia also has sea borders with Finland and Sweden.
» Geography ▪
Climate - maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers
Terrain - marshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south
lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Suur Munamägi 318 m (in the south east of Estonia, 20km north of the main highway that runs from Riga to Russia close to the borders of Estonia with both countries).
Geography - note
the mainland terrain is flat, boggy, and partly wooded; offshore lie more than 1,500 islands and islets
World War II and the subsequent occupation were devastating on humans, but the destruction and the closure of large areas for military use actually increased Estonia's forest coverage from about 25% before the war to more than 50% by 1991. Wolves, bears, lynx, elks, deers as well as some rare bird and plant species are abundant in Estonia. The wild animals from Estonia are exported to some EU countries for forest repopulation programmes. Most animals can be hunted - according to yearly quotas.
» Holidays ▪
National holiday : Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 was the date of independence from Soviet Russia, as 20 August, 1991 was the date of re-independence from the Soviet Union. Each 24 February, a grand ball is held by the president for the prominent and important members of society and foreign dignitaries.
Jaanipäev : St John's Day or Midsummer Day held on the night of 23-24 June. The evening of the 23rd and well into the morning of the 24th is celebrated with bonfires and a traditional festive menu concentrating on barbeques and drinking.
Võidupüha (Victory Day) : 23 June is celebrated to commemorate the decisive victory over Baltic-German forces in the War of Independence.
Christmas : or Jõulud is also celebrated in Estonia, this is strictly a family event.
New Year's Eve : As a Soviet province, the authorities sought to promote the New Year holiday as Christmas was all but forbidden for its alleged "religious" and "nationalist" character. After the restoration of independence, the significance of the New Year decreased, but it is still a day-off and celebrated. This day is used by the leaders of the country to address the nation.