Kadripäev (St Catherine's Day) in Estonia Date in the current year: November 25, 2024

Kadripäev (St Catherine's Day) in Estonia Kadripäev is one of the beloved folk festivals in Estonia. It's English name is St Catherine's Day, and the holiday retained its popularity in many countries throughout the centuries.

St Catherine's Day emerged in Estonia during the 12th century, when the legend about St Catherine of Alexandria was translated to many languages. The feast gained enormous popularity in Estonia, and even today it's considered to be one of the most important autumn days, marking the arrival of winter.

Celebration of Kadripäev is organized for women. The traditions of Kadripäev are mainly associated with the kadri beggars, who go to the houses on the eve of the holiday to collect gifts (food, wool or cloth) in exchange for suitable songs and hymns.

St Catherine's Day is primarily an important observance at the Estonian farms, where women are responsible for keeping cattle. A special importance was given to the sheep, that is why sharing them was forbidden till Kadripäev. In order to keep sheep safe, it was forbidden to weave, sew and knit on St. Catherine's Day.

Kadripäev wasn't prohibited during the Soviet era, mainly because it had no apolitical nature, that is why this folk holiday is still popular in modern-day Estonia. It's mostly spread in the rural areas and among students.

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