Peasant culture

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The main cuisine of Estonians remained rye bread and fish. More plentiful meals were had only on weddings and Christmas. Alcohol use began to spread. Aside from mead and kvass, bigger quantities of beer and vodka were consumed. Vodka was distilled in cities, manors and even farms. Taverns were established to distribute it. Taverns became to meeting place of the villagers. Tobacco was not so popular among Estonians, it was mostly smoked by Swedish soldiers. Estonians still lived in barn-dwellings. The biggest influence of the Swedish culture appeared in the clothing of Estonians, where Swedish striped skirts and later other details of the national costume were taken to use. Estonians were known to play the bagpipes.

Image: stripe skirts of the Estonian national clothing

Source: Ain Mäesalu, Tõnis Lukas, Mati Laur, Tõnu Tannberg. Eesti ajalugu I. Avita, Tallinn 1995

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