Seto Kingdom, Estonia

Photo © Ulrika Laan

Hidden in the southeast corner of Estonia is what many call the smallest kingdom in the world, the Seto Kingdom. Each year Setos celebrate their mythical king Peko and choose his representative on earth by popular vote.

Setos are a colourful Finno-Ugric people with a population of just 4,000. They have an ancient culture and a distinctive language. Seto religion is an infusion of paganism and Christianity.
The kingdom’s celebrations take place in early August. Setos serve traditional food and drinks, hold folk-song performances sung by singers who have had to memorise 10,000-20,000 rhymes, and offer craft workshops.

The choosing of the new king is the highlight of the festivities, and if a female is chosen, true to the Seto culture’s quirkiness, she will be addressed as King.

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