A patchwork of ethnic costumes, voices singing Lithuanian folk songs and sutartinės, folk dance rhythms and a lot of smiling faces is the Song Festival uproar, flooding Vilnius every four years. The event lasts for six days and attracts tens of thousands of well-minded participants and even bigger Lithuanian tradition-loving audience. The Song Festival is a unique example for the whole world showing how the dance and song unite people, scattered throughout the world.
One hundred years could not change the importance of the festival
Counting its history for almost a hundred years, the Song Festival is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular events of the Lithuanian culture, and its relevance and popularity today is as important as ever before.
The first day of songs, with only the participation of choirs, was organised in Lithuania in 1924. The festival flourished even in the dark days of the occupation: the repertoire included patriotic songs that united people to fight against denationalization, promoted unity and the Lithuanian heritage. Meanwhile, the path of the Baltic countries to independence in 1990 is often called the “Singing revolution”.
Ongoing every four years, the modern song festivals consist of the Dance Day, the Ensemble Evening, the folk and craft fair and the grand final accent – the Song Day.
A global cultural asset
Lithuanian Song Festival is a national-level event, and as a world cultural asset has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Song Festivals that take place in the Baltic countries are a unique social phenomenon that does have equivalent all over the world.
First of all, it is because the folk art, the folk costumes, songs, dances and crafts festivals become alive in a few days, and most importantly – they find a place in the hearts of young people craving for new things.
Secondly, the Lithuanian nation can be proud of the huge scale of the event and its global interest. The event attracts a total average of about 30 thousand of participants, many of whom are kinsmen living all over the whole world.
Lithuanian Song Festival brings together the people, reveals the spirit of this country, links everyone with the sounds of music, dance rhythms and a sense of patriotic unity. But even more it fascinates those who take part in this magnificent celebration for the first time – the Lithuania’s guests.