May 13, 2016

2545 LITHUANIA - Baltic Song and Dance Celebrations (UNESCO ICH)

Both a repository and a showcase for the region's tradition of performing folk art, this cultural expression culminates in large-scale festivals every fifth year in Estonia and Latvia and every fourth year in Lithuania. These grand events, held over several days, assemble as many as 40,000 singers and dancers, belonging to amateur choirs and dance groups. The Baltic Song and Dance Celebrations were initially organized in Estonia in 1869, in Latvia in 1873, and in Lithuania in 1924.

The pioneer Lithuanian Song and Dance Celebration called the Song Day then was held in 1924 in Kaunas (as the capital of Lithuania and Vilnius region were occupied by Poland) where 86 choirs including more than 3000 singers 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.

Since 2003 the festivals are organized under thematic requirements. In that year, the uniting word was "we". In 2007 the conception was under the name "In the Circle of Life". In 2009, when Lithuania celebrated a millennium since its name was first mentioned, the festival was named "The Song of the Centuries". In 2014, thousands of participants and spectators chanted "Here is my home". The next festival will be held in 2018, and will be dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Lithuanian State. The main concerts are held on the huge stage in Vingis park in Vilnius.

About the stamp

The stamps is one of the two issued on May 3, 2014 by Lithuania for Europa stamps 2014, with the theme National music Instruments. They depict wooden bells and cow horn reed-pipes, unique and specific to Lithuanian musicians.

Baltic Song and Dance Celebrations - UNESCO official website
From the History of Song Celebrations - Lithuanian Song Festival official website

Sender: Patrik Hierner
Sent from Vilnius (Vilnius / Lithuania), on 17.07.2014
Photo: Antansa Varanka 

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