The circle of the year

Native Estonians experience time as a circle. In our climate winter, spring, summer and autumn follow one another. Every coming of a new season means great changes in temperature and vegetation. All nature is changing constantly and with great contrasts, but everything will come around again. Time follows a cycle and brings back summer, spring, autumn and winter. Time brings back holidays as well.

The calendar of native Estonians follows the cycle of nature sensitively. Maausk, the native religion of Estonians (Faith of Earth) is a religion of nature. The holidays and customs of native Estonians designate the breaking points of nature. The holidays of native Estonians are periods that have great impact on following periods.

The most important holidays of native Estonians are:

1) jõulud (December 21 – 24): winter solstice, the end of souls' time and the beginning of the year (December 25th);

2) munapyhad, suvisted: the arrival of spring. In northern and southern Estonia spring arrives and therefore is celebrated in different times (March or April in the south, May or June in the north);

3) leedopäev (June 23th): summer solstice;

4) kasupäev (September 29th): the beginnig of the winter half-year and the beginning of the souls' time.

In addition to those, native believers of Estonia celebrate 31 other holidays.

Runic calendars

The runic calendar is the only known means of chronology of our own. There are about a dozen of runic calendars kept in Estonian museums that come from the 17th to 19th centuries. They consist of small wooden tabulas with runes cut in them. The runes depict days of the week, holidays and the phases of the Moon. Though the runes refer to connections with the Scandinavian runes, our calendars show the time of ourseleves, native Estonians.

The year 10217

The native believers and other people appreciating local traditions use the so-called Billingen catastrophe as the beginning of their chronology. After the last ice age region of the Baltic Sea was covered with the arctic (ice) lake. One day in middle of Sweden it broke its way to the Atlantic. During one single year the water level decreased more than 20 meters. At the same time, thousands of square kilometres of Estonian land appeared from the water. The native believers call it poetically 'the birth of the land'. This year (2004. A.D.) 10217 year cycles have passed from the birth of the land. This is also the approximate length of our history and the length of the time while people have lived upon this land. While speaking about our history, we do not have to use the impractical Christian Era that divides our history into events before and after Christ. It is also a little strange to start our era with an assumable year of birth of a prophet of so faraway and culturally different nation.