Be inspired by 100 years of songs and dances in Lithuania

Monika Grinevičiūtė | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Perhaps you don't know it, but 2018 is a very important year for Lithuania. We are celebrating 100 years of* our restored independence. Even the most stubborn Lithuanians are proud of it, and celebrating this anniversary in their hearts. Streets are full of yellow, green and red colors - Lithuania’s flag is everywhere. Although the most significant celebrations were held on February 16 and on March 11 *(the most important days for our country), there are still a lot of upcoming events. One of them is the Lithuania's Songs and Dances Festival. So, stay on this page, as I promise that you will get** inspired by the presentation of 100 years of songs and dances in Lithuania.**

Some time ago

The Lithuania’s Songs and Dances festival is a massive traditional event, which takes place every four years since 1990, when the Independence was restored. The first Lithuania's songs festival was held in Kaunas in 1924, when 77 choirs with 3000 singers participated in this event for the first time. During the Soviet times, the festival was also happening, just the songs and performances were dedicated to the Soviet aesthetics and politics. During that time, singing traditional songs was a sign of freedom and independence. Therefore, this was not allowed and it was forbidden. However, Lithuania always was a singing country, and there are hundreds of traditional songs, some of them still are popular.

Something about present

Nowadays, the Songs and Dances festival remarks our freedom and our traditions. Thousands of young and old people, full of pride and happiness, are gathering in one place to join the best traditional Lithuanian celebration. Sometimes this festivity is called "the Lithuanian Art Olympics" because people from all the regions of the country, together with some guests from abroad, despite their different dialects and languages, are singing and dancing with open hearts. The last Songs and Dances Festival, was happening in 2014. This year the festival is dedicated to the Lithuania’s Centenary, and it will be held in Vilnius and Kaunas. The celebration will start in Kaunas, on 30th of June at the Valley of Songs to the honor the city, where the first Songs Festival was held. From the 1st of July, the festival will move to Vilnius. On the 6th of July, on the Statehood Day (it is a public holiday in Lithuania, for a commemoration of the coronation of Mindaugas in 1253, as the only King of Lithuania) at the Vingis Park Amphitheatre the Songs will be happening. Sometimes it is hard to believe that 9 000 dancers and a choir with 20 000 people will fit in one city's stadium. Both, the view and the sound, are unforgettable. When audience and all the people from the choir start to sing, it is a moment which stays in your heart for a long time. And people are singing in honor for the past generations who created this festival and for the future people and all Lithuania.

This festival is definitely worth to live, especially if you are seeking new experiences. There is no better way to be touched by the Lithuanian traditions than this event. But, if you are not inspired yet, there is one more important thing to say: on the final day of this event, at Vingis park, there is one tradition when all Lithuanians of the country* **and all over the world, at the same time, are singing the national anthem*. Believe me, that is something unique and touching souls. So, starting from the end of this month, we will sing and dance for our country's birthday, and if you join us here in Lithuania, I guarantee that you will become inspired by 100 years of songs and dances.

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