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Previous theme years

  • 2000/2001 – Estonian Book Year

    The Estonian Book Year was celebrated from April 2000 to April 2001, focusing on the value of Estonian books and facilitating book culture in our society.

  • 2005 – Art Year

    The aim of the Art Year was to draw the attention of the entire society to the opportunities and role of art in Estonia. During the year, many art projects were organised that involved young people, increased interest in art and awareness of it.

  • 2006 – Estonia Theatre Year

    The Theatre Year marked the passing of 100 years from the birth of professional theatre in Estonia. In 1906, a new Art Nouveau-style theatre house was opened and named Vanemuine. In September of the same year, the Estonia Theatre was also declared professional at the initiative of Paul Pinna and Theodor Altermann.

  • 2007 – Design Year

    The Design Year was organised to celebrate the passing of 40 years from the start of design education in Estonia, to bring more value to design in the eyes of entrepreneurs and to introduce this field to general public. The Design Year took place 14.09.2006 – 6.11.2007.

  • 2008 – Republic of Estonia 90; Architecture Year

    The Architecture Year was organised to celebrate the passing of 90 years from the start of professional architecture education in Estonia. Other aims of the Architecture Year involved directing attention to architecture as an environment and culture, to architecture as a connector of people and space, and to architecture as the art of construction.

  • 2009 – Museum Year

    The aim of the Museum Year was to direct attention to the cultural heritage that surrounds us through the viewpoint of museums. This involved introducing the activities of nearly 250 museums and their work with preserving and introducing cultural heritage, bringing the spotlight on people whose daily tasks were carried out in museum and cherishing the work that has been done in more than 200 years.

  • 2010 – Year of Reading

    The aim of the Year of Reading was to focus on reading and combat low reading numbers.

  • 2011 – Tallinn – the European Capital of Culture

    Tallinn shared the title of the  European Capital of Culture with the Finnish city of Turku.

  • 2012 - Year of Estonian Film

    Film Year was organised to celebrate the 100th jubilee of Estonian cinematography – 1912 marked the screening of the first cinematographic treat by Johannes Pääsuke, a short film depicting test pilot Sergei Utotškin’s aerobatics above Tartu. In order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Estonian films, a programme was launched titled “Estonian Film 100/Year of Estonian Film”; the focal points of the programme were restoring and recovering the film heritage, creating opportunities for studying and disclosing film history, and wide-spread introduction and appreciation of Estonian films both at home and abroad.

  • 2013 – Republic of Estonia 95; Year of Cultural Heritage

    The Year of Cultural Heritage was organised to convey the following message: all that we create today will be our mark in the future. The motto of the Year of Heritage was “There is no heritage without an heir”. Various events took place all over Estonia in the spirit of the Year of Cultural Heritage, some of them were also tied to the celebrations of the 95th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

  • 2014 – Year of Sports

    2014 was the Year of Sports in Estonia. The aim of the Year of Sports was to increase the number of people who engage in physical activities on a regular basis. The most important goal was to raise awareness about the fact that everyone can get moving, virtually everywhere and at any time, and to point out that regular exercising should be an integral part of our daily lives.
    Throughout the year, various way of staying physically active were introduced, be it folk dancing or recreational sport, and people were encouraged to enjoy all the benefits that exercising has to offer.
    The Year of Sports 2014 was organised and carried out by the Estonian Olympic Committee.


  • 2015 – Year of Music

    2015 was declared the Year of Music in Estonia. Various concerts, festivals, competitions, conferences, school concerts, lectures, exhibitions and other music-related events took place in the framework of the Year of Music. Composer Arvo Pärt celebrated his 80th birthday in 2015 and composer Veljo Tormis turned 85; October 1 marked the traditional celebration of International Music Day all over Estonia.

  • 2016 – Maritime Culture Year

    2016 was named the Maritime Culture Year and given the motto “Facing the sea”.
    The aim of the theme year was to show that the sea has strong links to our history, work, food, culture, education, traditions, etc.

  • 2017 - The Year of Children's and Youth Culture

    2017 was the Year of Children's and Youth Culture, which celebrated our future generations as creators and members of the public, linked culture to various areas of activity and gathered together many different undertakings, both small and large. The motto for the Year of Children's and Youth Culture was “Me too!”. The activities of theme year were coordinated by the Estonian Children's Literature Centre.


Last updated: 14 May 2019