BERTA Is Web-based portal, which is intended to inform users about the ritual Estonian folk calendar. BERTA was commissioned by the Estonian Tiger Leap Foundation, the project was leaded by Liisa Vesik.

BERTA currently introduces about 80 folk calendar holidays of varied importance and is as such the largest and most comprehensive corpus of Estonian folk holidays, beliefs and music. The database also presents a selection of (major) Russian Orthodox holidays as well as holidays of Estonian school calendar (especially those exhibiting features characteristic of a popular calendar holiday).

Each holiday links to an introductory web page, which provides a brief overview of customs connected with a particular holiday and a short history of the day (specifying its origin, spread and adoption in Estonia, and the changes it has undergone). The introduction also provides information about the saint (if the holiday is a saint’s feast day), comparative material from other cultures, and some most recent interviews. Additional key words to facilitate the understanding of the archaic tradition are added to the introductions of most holidays and feast days. Separate links refer to specific Web pages and printed sources for further information on single topics.

Web gallery consists of photographs associated with various holidays from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century. Photographic material was found in the photo archives of the Estonian Folklore Archives and the Estonian National Museum, but also in private collections and, particularly in terms of the newer material, also from the Web galleries of schools. Video and sound samples are provided on a separate page and originate in the Estonian Folklore Archives and private collections. Submitting comments and stories is made simple for the user, the stories written and added by users enables to explicate the actual meaning of the holiday to our contemporaries. Archive texts have been grouped in a separate database, containing texts about thirty most important holidays, which are searchable by means and formalized key word of a separate search engine.


Ritual year, ritual connected with the ligfe of human being, rituals and church calendar, abbeys as the nodes of tradition, festivals and ritual year, etc. Are the main topics of the SIEF working group Ritual year. The group is leaded by Emily Lyle, the 6th conference The Inner and the Outer was heldi n Estonia. From our department participates Andres Kuperjanov and Mare Kõiva.

EKM Fo , EFI  
Photo Andres Kuperjanov
© 'mare 2010