National holidayIndependence 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.
JaanipÃ¤evSt 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.
VÃµidupÃ¼haVictory Day : 23 June is celebrated to commemorate the decisive victory over Baltic-German forces in the War of Independence.
Christmasor JÃµulud is also celebrated in Estonia, this is strictly a family event.
New Year's EveAs 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.
After 7 centuries of German, Danish, Swedish, Polish and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Incorporated into the USSR in 1940, it re-gained independence in 1991 through its Singing Revolution (http://www.singingrevolut...), a non-violent revolution that overthrew an initially violent occupation. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia moved to promote economic and political ties with Western Europe. It is now one of the more-prosperous former Communist states, enjoying a high-tech environment, an open and liberal economy and a transparent government system. On the other hand, it is faced with a fairly low but growing GDP per capita in a European Union context, as well as a very low birth rate, which is creating a population decline. Between 1991-2007, the country saw rapid economic expansion, leading it to be among one of the wealthiest and the most developed of the former Soviet Republics. However, its economy was badly damaged during the ongoing global recession, although more recently, it has been recovering quickly. In 2011, the Euro was adopted as the official currency.
Since accession to the EU, Estonia is becoming one of the most popular destinations in North-Eastern Europe with EU highest 30% growth in the number of visitors in 2004, according to Eurostat.
Climate maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers Terrain marshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south Elevation extremes lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m highest point: Suur MunamÃ¤gi 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 isletsNature 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.