Sacred oak, Estonia, Hiiumaa island. Author: Pääro Metsand
Sacred oak, Estonia, Hiiumaa island. Author: Pääro Metsand
The 2016 Sacred Groves Photography Contest is open until the end of this month, October 31st. The theme of the contest, held now for the ninth year in a row, is sacred natural (not man-made) sites: sacred groves and hills, water bodies, trees, stones and other natural objects, where people went to pray, heal, sacrifice and perform other rituals even well before the 20th century.

The contest’s Grand Prize is €1,300; the ‘Ural Peoples’ Prize is €300; and the Youth Prize for contestants 16 years of age or younger is €200. In addition, a number of special prizes will be handed out in the following categories: Grove, Sacred tree, Stone, Water body, Offering, Pain of the sacred grove, Story, The Islands, Nature conservation, and more. Photographs from all parts of the world are welcome.

Winners will be awarded in the new Estonian National Museum Building in Tartu on 3 December 2016. The Sacred Groves Photography Contest is sponsored by the Hiite Maja Foundation, Maavalla Koda and the Centre of Sacred Natural Sites at the University of Tartu.

Our supporters are: Wiedemanni Translation Bureau, the Kindred Peoples Programme, Eesti Kultuurkapital, Kehrwieder, the Estonian Folklore Archives of the Estonian Literature Museum, the Estonian National Museum, Võro Instituut, Mulgi Kultuuri Instituut, the Võrtsjärve Foundation, Uma Leht, Tihuse Riding-Farm, the Estonian Folklore Council, the Heritage Protection Board, the Environmental Board, Jõgeva County Government, the Estonian Traditional Music Centre, the Krautman Health and Massage Academy, Harmoonikum, Viru Folk, Roheliste Rattaretk, Nature Photo of the Year, Pegasus Press, the School of Traditional Knowledge and Folk Medicine, Mooska Farm, Tagavälja Farm, the Kalevipoja Koda Foundation, the Estonian Printing Museum, Siniallika Inn, Pühaste Brewery, the publishing house Hea Lugu and the LÜÜ-TÜRR Men’s Folkloric Song Ensemble.

For contest rules, additional information and photograph submission:


Emma Johanna Lepasoo
Tel. + 372 56949256
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