The Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration

The Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration (Dainų šventė) is an undoubtedly significant Lithuanian cultural tradition when the human self-expression, love and solidarity for the homeland create the unforgettable event where thousands are able to participate in, and which attracts visitors from all over the world , especially Lithuanian emigrants to come back home at least for one magnificent week. The Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration is a national level occasion which is even included into the UNESCO World Heritage list as to be an accredited world-line cultural worth.The main concerts of Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration are held on the huge stage in Vingis park.

The pioneer Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration called the Song Day then was held in 1924 in Kaunas where 86 choirs including more than 3000 singers participated. 36 songs then were sang. After the second Song Day in Kaunas in 1928 where 6000 singers participated it was realized that the occasion gets a huge attention and is well attended. Since 1930 in Lithuania regional schoolchildren song and dance festivals were held. The national dance and song were more and more popular in Lithuania as Lithuanian folk dancers even participated in national dance festivals in London in 1935 and later in Germany, Czech Slovakia, Sweden. In 1941 the Lithuanian Folk Culture Center was established that became a seat of Song and Dance festivals organizers. Since 1950 the Republican Song and Dance festivals were held each 5 years. Every year the festivals were bigger. The largest number of attendants in the festival was reached in 1985 when 38865 art lovers participated. After getting back independence, the first Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration including Lithuanian emigrants from USA, Canada, Argentina, Germany, Ukraine and other countries , was held in 1994. Then the Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration got the name of the World Lithuanians Song and Dance Celebration. Since 2003 the World Lithuanians Song and Dance Celebrations are organized under thematic requirements. In 2003 the festival program was based on lyrics of famous Lithuanian poet Justinas Marcinkevičius poem, the uniting word then was “we” (“mes” lit.). In 2007 the conception of the Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration was under the ”Circle of Entity”  (“Būties ratas”  lit.) name.  In 2009 the conception of World Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration is based on “Glee of Centuries” (“Amžių sutartinė“ lit.).

The Millenium Song Celebration of Lithuania which is going to be held in 2009 July 1-6 is considered to mark the millennium of Lithuania as the name of Lithuania was first mentioned in 1009 in the annals of Quedlinburg, Germany. Not only an incredible  days of Songs and Dances are included into program. The Folklore Day, the Evening of Ensembles, concerts of kantele and wind instruments  are also included. Many Lithuanians in all over the world are eager to come to Lithuania and join the majestic celebration as this occasion unites Lithuanian mentality, reveals the real Lithuanian spirit straight from everyone`s hearts and unites everyone with sounds of music, rhythms of national dances and common feeling of being Lithuanians.

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