Article

Seasonality in Estonian Traditional Landscape: The Example of Large Village Swings

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Abstract

Like every nation, Estonians have their own indigenous customs and habits. Village swings and the place of these swings in the landscape are focused upon as an example of such Estonian customs, and changes in landscape as related to seasonality and liminality are discussed. The word ‘swing’ is used to denote a large construction (traditionally made of wood) that is able to carry and swing at least two people. Village swings (for public use) are usually located in the middle of a village and the site is commonly used by young people as a place to meet and have a good time. Swinging takes place mostly in the spring and summer, forming one of the many seasonal activities that make up the Estonian traditional calendar. The seasonal break in swinging activity contributes to the eagerness with which swinging is resumed when spring returns, so seasonality creates frames, with the most valued time being the spring. With swinging, the spring has been celebrated as a very valuable and long-awaited season. Although the religious background for swinging has been forgotten, the place is still special and is visited mostly on certain festive occasions. As there is no comparable alternative to swing sites as a socializing place in the village, they have persisted through the centuries. The importance of preserving such unique seasonal places in Estonia's social landscape is demonstrated.

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... Previous studies undertaken at the University of Tartu addressed the "Places with Large Swings in Estonian landscapes". (Pungas, 2004;Pungas et al., 2004). Places were analysed using 'a swing' as an example (Figure 4.1). ...
... Previous studies undertaken at the University of Tartu addressed the "Places with Large Swings in Estonian landscapes". (Pungas, 2004;Pungas et al., 2004). Places were analysed using 'a swing' as an example (Figure 4.1). ...
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... Previous studies undertaken at the University of Tartu addressed the "Places with Large Swings in Estonian landscapes". (Pungas, 2004;Pungas et al., 2004). Places were analysed using 'a swing' as an example (Figure 4.1). ...
... Previous studies undertaken at the University of Tartu addressed the "Places with Large Swings in Estonian landscapes". (Pungas, 2004;Pungas et al., 2004). Places were analysed using 'a swing' as an example (Figure 4.1). ...
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