One-Day Cafés in Hiiumaa
Estonia has more than 1,500 islands. The largest and most well-known of them is Saaremaa, while the second largest in size is Hiiumaa. Hiiumaa has been always for some unknown reason overshadowed by Saaremaa. However, this means that now is the high time to “explore“ Hiiumaa. Those who seek will find!
At first sight, this elegant parasol seems to have no connection to the people of Hiiumaa, but it does! In the middle of the 19th century, a textile factory was established in Kärdla, where amongst other products made was the world-renowned broadcloth. As a result of that, Hiiumaa began to attract new people and new traditions. One of the new customs was drinking coffee, which became so widespread in Kärdla, that other people of Hiiumaa, either out of envy or lack of respect, started to call Kärdla’s people “coffee maniacs“.
Traditions have a tremendous influence. As the small town of Kärdla cannot manage too many cafés working at all times, every summer there is an event where 15 one-day coffee-shops open their doors.
Hiiumaa has witnessed many things during the coffee drinking tradition. The event of one-day cafés lets us travel through time and space. In the socialist times, children used to watch the cartoon series of “No pogodi“ on TV just as religiously as other children in the world used to watch the adventures of Tom and Jerry.
The road roller, as seen in “Nu pogodi“, and other cartoon characters invited people to visit the only café of Kärdla café-day, where no coffee was served at all. Instead, there was a samovar with tea and other things traditionally related to it.
Every one-day café shopkeeper wants more than just to treat their guests; they also try to create a year-lasting memory of their cafés.
Kärdla bus station has always been a symbolic place. People are going somewhere, others returning from their trip. Obviously, there must be a coffee-shop at the bus station, where people can say goodbye or share stories of their journeys. If there is no café, then at least for a day there will be one!
This café should also serve hearty meals, because the journey to or from Kärdla is a long one.
Every café-day visitor gets a town map, where the locations of all the cafés are clearly marked. It is an honour to visit all the cafés at least once and this itself will take up one day.
Though coffee is commonly associated with cakes and desserts, the café-day of Hiiumaa is by far more than just the sweetest day of the year.
Cafés will offer the best food they are able to come up with and that suits the theme of their café the best.
You can watch the video and enjoy the spirit of the Kärdla Café Day here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTD3Q84qEeU