Estonia is taking part in the Night of Ancient Bonfires initiative, during which people are invited to light a bonfire or a candle on the coast of the Baltic Sea on the night of the last Saturday of August.
The goal is to cover the coastline with bonfires in such way that from each place at least two other fires can be seen.
This annual celebration has become a tradition in several countries of the Baltic Sea region and every year more bonfire festivals are arranged by local organisations, municipalities, tourist boards and committed individuals.
At 9:30 pm / 21.30 o'clock a chain of hundreds of bonfires will be lit along the shores of the Baltic Sea in order to celebrate the summer, the Baltic Sea and most of all the connections between the people living in this region.
The Night of Ancient Bonfires was originally an initiative to mark the 75th independence anniversary of Finland in 1992, also invited some friends in Estonian islands. In the years after that it lived on, especially in the archipelago of southwestern Finland, as a local and communal farewell to summer. By now the tradition has spread to all countries situated on the Baltic Sea and its goal is to show the unity of coastal people and pay tribute to history and cultural heritage.
In ancient times bonfires along the Baltic coast were lit to warn of dangers. The earliest written reports of conveying messages by means of bonfires date from the time of the Vikings, when a united system of warning extended from the sea to the inland. Each community was under obligation to make its contribution to the system by lighting and keeping a bonfire, and strict punishment was applied for not fulfilling the duty.
Find out more here: http://www.muinastuled.ee/en