Island cultural traditions
In addition to nature, Saaremaa has its unique traditions. At more festive events, islanders still love to wear colourful folk costumes. For centuries, home-brewed beer and baked bread have been made in homes and still is today. Local young people who decide to follow in their parents' footsteps and become fishermen and -women contribute to the tradition of sustainable fishing. Therefore, from early spring to late autumn, smoked fish can be enjoyed on Saaremaa and nearby island Muhu, and you can find the catch of the day on restaurant menus.
A traditional local material is reed. Even today, you can see houses with reed roofs while driving around older villages. However, young and proactive islanders have discovered reed as an alternative to material to plastic for making drinking straws. As a result, several young families on the island have started sustainable and environmentally friendly businesses.
The circular economy is important to sustainability as well, and Lahhentagge Distillery gives new life to city Christmas trees by making them into a tonic. Their spruce-flavored tonics are made from Christmas trees from Kuressaare and Pärnu in Estonia, and Helsinki and Loviisa, Finland. Popular events also put an emphasis on sustainability, like music festival I Land Sound and its waste sorting, and the Saaremaa Food Festival with its use of biodegradable tableware.