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XXV Song Celebration
XVIII Dance Celebration

Song and Dance Celebration, the Estonian says. This is almost a sacred notion. It stands for the true birthday of Song and Dance, a great spiritual feast, a tradition not to be missed.
This is the festive reunion of an ancient folk, gathering from the cities as well as from the countryside; small as a nation, but impressively large as a family. Song and Dance Celebration is a true Estonian holiday, the Holy Day of the Heart;
which has been waited for, adorned for;
this is a brief moment of ecstatic togetherness,
rising almost into the air in a mythical ship of joy and hope
a ship that has proved to be capable of carrying one nation over the most dangerous, most difficult rocks of time. .

/Doris Kareva/

Estonia and Song and Dance Celebration – these two belong together like Norway and skiing, Russia and bears or England and the Oxford-Cambridge boat race.

The Song Celebration tradition started in the middle of the 19th century and it has survived all of the twists and turns in Estonia’ s history.

It has defied the hardest of times like a frail plant that pushes its way through concrete with its inner strength and then bursts into bloom. Preceded by some local Song Celebrations, the first nationwide Song Celebration was held in Tartu in 1869.

At the time this was seen as the first attempt at national self-determination, manifested before the Baltic-German rulers: See, we can do something too! Fifty choirs and musical ensembles from all over Estonia performed before an audience of thousands, who experienced a blissful sense of belonging, enhanced by the beauty of the music and the songs.

This celebration evolved into a tradition that still flourishes today. The small nation which started the tradition has had to prove to foreign authorities, even in the 20th century, that they are a fully fledged nation with its own rights and resolves.

Song and Dance Celebrations were not just big festivals of singing and music but a way to demonstrate the national spirit and to strengthen the sense of belonging.

The age of foreign rulers is past but Song and Dance Celebrations are still alive – both local and nationwide.

And this proves how deep and strong is the core, spirit and meaning of Song and Dance Celebrations. It is definitely not only the spirit of protest and resistance that brings hundreds of thousands of Estonians – and an increasing number of guests from around the world – every five years to Tallinn. The total number of performers in the last Song and Dance Celebration in 2004 was 34 000 and they performed before an audience of 200 000.

Rather, it is the unique combination of the sublimity of music and human warmth that a rather distrustful northern nation dares to show during Song Celebrations, much to the surprise of others and its self..

Song and Dance Celebration - this is a joy. Because Song Festivals are irreplacable and unique, they can only be experienced on site.
Many thanks to all who have contributed to this Celebration!

Do not be sad, the next Youth Celebration of Song and Dance is in 2007 and nationwide Song and Dance Celebration in 2009!

Estonian Song and Dance Celebration Foundation

July 2-5, 2009

2 July, Thursday
at 15 - Folk Music Celebration on Town Hall Square

3 July, Friday
at 19 - First Concert of Dance Celebration - on Kalev Stadium

4 July, Saturday
at 11 - Second Concert of Dance Celebration - on Kalev Stadium
at 14 Festive Parade of Song and Dance Celebration
at 19 - First Concert of Song Celebration - on Song Celebration Grounds

5 July, Sunday
at 11 - Third Concert of Dance Celebration - on Kalev Stadium
at 14 - Second Concert of Song Celebration - on Song Celebration Grounds

NB! Tickets available: www.piletilevi.ee/

More Information: http://www.laulupidu.ee/eng

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