Kerttu Kruusla

Viljandi Heritage Festival

NB! Find the constantly updated information on the festival's website.

Estonia, a digital nation located in Northern Europe, has maintained respect for heritage through the twists and turns of history. The picturesque small town of Viljandi, located in the middle of the country, has emerged as the capital of Estonian heritage, as it is home to the most important organizations that research, interpret, and develop Estonian heritage: the Estonian Traditional Music Center, the Estonian Folk Culture Center, and the Viljandi Culture Academy. Furthermore, the main organizer of the Heritage Festival, Viljandi Culture Academy is a regional college of the University of Tartu, which is among the world’s 400 most prestigious universities, and as Estonia’s national university, has the responsibility to preserve and advance Estonian heritage. Since 2019, Viljandi has held the title of UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art. These activities are also implemented by the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy.

The week-long program explores, from various perspectives, how traditional cultural knowledge can contribute to finding sustainable solutions to economic and environmental problems. It introduces phenomena of intangible cultural heritage, shares tips on making personal life changes, and, of course, provides spectacular entertainment.



October 1-2, 2024

International conference "Heritage in the Service of Resilient Communities"

The main theme of discussions and presentations revolves around how the values, knowledge, and skills embedded in cultural heritage enrich the contemporary living environment and help find sustainable solutions to social, economic, and ecological problems.

October 3, 2024

International masterclasses

Targeted mainly at professionals and students in crafts and traditional music, the masterclasses aim to exchange experiences, establish new international contacts, and initiate collaborative projects.

October 4-5, 2024

Heritage Party

The festival concludes with a lively public heritage party at Viljandi Sports School and the surroundings of the Folk Music Center, where attendees can meet colorful guests from UNESCO Creative Cities of Crafts and Folk Art from around the world. It also includes powerful bearers of Estonia's intangible cultural heritage, workshops where you can master your repairing skills, and musical performances at the Folk Music Harvest Party.

In collaboration with Viljandi Art School, heritage-related art objects and performance art pieces will be created for the cityscape.

Viljandi Heritage Festival is part of the Tartu 2024 program line „Tartu with Humanity “. The festival is organized by the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy and the Estonian Traditional Music Center.

The festival is partly co-funded with Tartu 2024.


Learn more about Viljandi:

Official tourist information

Viljandi and its local community