Year of Maritime Culture 2016

Throughout the ages the sea has ensured the survival and quality of life for people who live on the coast. Thanks to its versatile practical value of use, today the sea also plays an important economic and cultural role. Despite the half-century cultural and economic interruption that the Soviet era created in maritime affairs and maritime culture, the heritage has not perished completely. In order to maintain and carry on the preserved cultural heritage, it is primarily important to realise what we have and then jointly consider how to continue.

In modern times the sea is, above all, associated with summer, holidays, the sun and options for spending leisure time. However, the beach holiday itself is actually a tradition that is only a couple of hundreds of years old. The aim of this newly begun Year of Maritime Culture is to additionally show that the sea is our history, work, food, culture, education, traditions, beliefs, etc., as well.

2016’s theme is maritime culture

The newly begun Year of Maritime Culture will again give us a reason for turning towards the sea and asking whether we are just people, who live by the sea or a maritime nation. The aim of the Year of Maritime Culture is to value the maritime history of Estonia and focus on traditions related to the sea. By joining different areas of culture, this thematic year consolidates all the activities and events that carry on maritime culture and includes concerts, conferences, discussions, festivals, competitions and workshops.

The abundance and variety of maritime culture is conveyed by the four thematic waves of the Year of Maritime Culture. In January and February we will concentrate on heritage and cultural topics. In spring, i.e. in March, April and May, the focus will be on maritime safety and education. The summer wave in June, July and August will invite everybody to spend an active holiday and leisure time on the seaside and on the sea. From September to November more serious discussions will be held about the future of Estonia as a maritime country.

In the Year of Maritime Culture people will play the key role and, in order to mould and carry on cultural history, both creators and participants are equally important. We hope that the new year will bring everybody both to the seaside and to the sea not only in summer, but also in spring, autumn and winter more often.

Facing the sea!

The entire programme of the Year of Maritime Culture 2016 is provided in Estonian HERE.

For visitors outside Estonia, we have made a selection of events, which might interest you the most, you will find the programme calendar in english HERE.