Monday, July 6, 2009

Estonian Song and Dance Festival

After each 5 years, Estonia is helding a unique and special festival -Song and Dance Festival - people all over Estonia gather together to Tallinn with their folk dance groups and choirs to perform for the Estonian people. It is considered as one of the largest amateur choral events in the world.
And indeed it's a HUGE event - having about 100 000 spectators and singing along with the choirs... It's a part of Estonian culture and seems not to loose its popularity also nowadays. The history goes back to 1869 when the first Song Festival was held in Tartu to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of serfhood in Estonia. In the 1st Song Festival, only men choirs and instrumentalists were participating, together 845 peformers. This year, the number of people during the performance of united choirs under the Singing Arch was about 24 000!
This year, I went to enjoy this event together with my Finnish penpal Minna. At first, we went to the performance of Dance Festival - the theme was "Sea" and it was absolutely lovely. We had very good seats and could see all the patterns the dancers made. Additionally to Estonian dances, also national dances of Latvia, Finland and Russia were shown.
From there, we rushed to the Song Festival ground to be ready for a lot of singing and huge crowd... We managed to get good seats, later were joined by my friend Kristi, her mother and Eve and Ragnar; and we all enjoyed the event very much singing along... It's certainly an event you will never forget. In 2003, the UNESCO international jury included the Estonian tradition of song and dance festivals in the list of oral and intellectual heritage of humankind.

Song Festival

I and Minna in the Song Festival, the Singing Arch in back.
Minna, I and Kristi have found our spot to listen to and sing along the songs.
Ragnar and Eve have joined us, too, + Kristi's mother.
The Estonian flag made of balloons.
The crowd when the festival has just started.

Dance Festival






3 comments:

art.soul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*m* said...

very interesting karin!
hugs

hipigrrrl said...

Õnneks tundus pühapäeval ikka palju parem ilm olevat kui laupäeval, vedas:o)
Ja Sulle tänud kauni laupäeva eest!