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Despite the many upheavals experienced throughout their national history, Estonian culture remains very strong both in their homeland, where aspects of their culture such as song festivals served as a rallying cry against foreign oppression throughout their years under Soviet occupation, and within their adoptive homelands where those same aspects of culture helped them to foster new ties and a new sense of belonging. 

In terms of religious traditions, most Estonians are Christian and many of these are of the Lutheran faith. The Estonian language is thought by many to be older than the ancient language of Sanskrit and Estonian artisans are known around the world for their beautiful woodworking, pottery, leatherwork, silversmithing, embroidery and printmaking. Estonia has produced several world-class composers and conductors, as well as numerous World and Olympic champions in wrestling, skiing and athletics.

Some of the more notable Estonian culinary delights include black bread made of rye, mukgikapsad, which is a dish of sauerkraut, pearl barley and pork. Other foods include blood and barley sausage, headcheese, cabbage rolls and herring. Estonian people often garden and enjoy fruits and fruit dishes as well. Some such dishes might include kisell, which is a sauce made from fruits like rhubarb, apple and strawberries and is often served over cereal or as a dessert.

An important time for many Estonian Albertans is the midsummer solstice festival or Jaanipäev. The rural community of Gilby, northwest of Red Deer, was an early Estonian settlement and still proudly celebrates this Estonian holiday. Jaanipäev was celebrated long before the arrival of Christianity in Estonia, although the day was given its name by the crusaders. For Estonians, Jaanipäev celebrations were merged with the celebration of Võidupüha (Victory Day) during the War of Independence when successful battles were waged against both German and Russian troops in the summer and fall of 1919. After these battles against Estonia's traditional oppressors, Jaaniõhtu and the lighting of the traditional bonfires became linked with the ideals independence and freedom. Jaanipäev also marks a change in the farming year, specifically the break between the completion of spring sowing and the hard work of summer hay-making. 

Understandably, some of the rituals of Jaanipäev have very strong folkloric roots. The best-known Jaanik, or midsummer, ritual is the lighting of the bonfire and the jumping over it. This is seen as a way of guaranteeing prosperity and avoiding bad luck. Likewise, to not light the fire is to invite the destruction of your house by fire. The fire also frightened away mischievous spirits who avoided it at all costs, thus ensuring a good harvest. So, the bigger the fire, the further the mischievous spirits stayed away. 

During their occupation of Estonia, the Soviets made no attempt to stop Jaanipäev celebrations. For Estonians, however, Jaanipäev remained tied to Estonia's victory during the War of Independence and the securing of a free and independent state. Jaanipäev, therefore, always reminded Estonians of their independence in the past, despite Soviet attempts to eliminate such ideas and continues to remind Estonians of the struggles they have faced as a nation, and the importance of maintaining their freedom.

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