Butter Week Sunday

Church holidays have always been very important to the Setos. Based on church holidays and moon phases, they knew when to fast and when to have fun. In the spring, a week before Lent, has been known as Butter Week – called maaselits in Seto language. During the butter week, dairy products were still allowed, but not meat. Butter Week Sunday was celebrated especially solemnly - people from the village were invited to sing and play on the hill, they rode horses around the village and ate pancakes. Each village had its own traditions. We try to keep the traditions alive even today.

Tartu, the cultural capital of 2024, invites guests from near and far to celebrate Butter Week Sunday together with the Setomaa communities.
DEAR GUESTS, we are waiting for you to come and enjoy Butter Week on MARCH 17th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.! The times vary in different communities (see below), and special arrangements are possible for groups.
If you plan to attend with a group of over 10 people, we would be very grateful if you could let us know in advance (by March 14th at the latest). This will allow us to prepare better. We hope to see you soon!

Click on the name of the village and see what is planned. If you wish, you can contact the person responsible. Here is the list of communities waiting for you:
LÜÜBNITSA, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Lüübnitsa community center
MIKITAMÄE, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Inara Vanavalgõ Kohvitarõ
VÄRSKA, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Värska Farm Museum
SAABOLDA, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Restaurant Maagõkõnõ
OBINITSA, 12 a.m. – 3 p.m. Obinitsa Museum
UUSVADA, 12 a.m. – 3 p.m. Uusvada community center

Cafes and restaurants offering Butter Week holiday dishes will be open until 4 p.m., and some places even longer. Butter Week dishes are offered at Taarka Tarõ in Obinitsa, Seto Tsäimaja in Värska, Maagõkõnõ home restaurant in Saabolda and Inara Vanavalgõ Kohvitarõ in Mikitamäe. It is expected that singing, dancing and playing of instruments will continue in the cafes and restaurants until the evening hours. It also depends on the interest and desire of the guests.

NB! Saatse “boot”. Along the Värska-Saabolda road, you will enter a section of a road (called Saatse “boot”) that passes through the territory of Russian Federation. You can drive on that road sections, but stopping is prohibited. Just follow the road and keep going, ignoring the Google Maps’ suggestion to turn onto small forest roads. You can get acquainted with the area by looking at the video: https://youtu.be/5W910wHRwxw (eng).
NB! When parking on the lawn or by the road, take into account that the ground is soft in the spring after the snow melts, and the car may sink so that it is not easy to get out of it later.

We will continuously add information about the event to this page. Stay tuned also by following our FB pages Seto Küük and Seto Kostipäiv.

The event takes place within the framework of the project "Seto Kostipäivä aastaring" and is part of the core program of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024. The project is supported by the South Estonian Community Program.