Tallinn XXVII Song Celebration and XX Dance Celebration
Location: Tallinn Song Festival Grounds and Kalev stadium
Ask any Estonian what it means to be Estonian and the first idea that will leap into his or her mind will be the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration.
These massive folk gatherings, involving thousands of colourfully-dressed performers from all over Estonia and abroad, have helped to define nation’s spirit ever since the days of the first celebration in 1869. During the 20th century, the celebration developed into a regular cultural phenomenon, and is now held once in every five years.
The year 2019 will mark the 150th anniversary of the first song festival and the dance celebration will take place for the 20th time.
The Song and Dance Celebration will be held from July 4 to July 7, 2019. The main theme of the XXVII Song Celebration and the XX Dance Celebration is “My Fatherland is My Love.”
The Song Celebration tradition began with the first Song Celebration organized by Johann Voldemar Jannsen and the “Vanemuine” society in Tartu on 18–20 June 1869. 51 male choirs and brass bands encompassing 845 singers and musicians gathered in Tartu. With a few exceptions, the number of singers has been growing gradually, reaching 30,000 singers in 2014.
The venue of the Song Celebration is the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Tallinna Lauluväljak). The Song Festival Grounds fit up to 100,000 people. The performers sing under an arch, that carries sound evenly over the whole spectator area. The Song Festival Grounds have hosted the celebration since 1960 and was the place, where the “singing revolution” took place in 1988.
One of the highlights of the Song and Dance Celebration is the procession, which passes through the main streets of Tallinn and reaches the Song Festival Grounds. All performers attend the procession while thousands of spectators cheer the singers and dancers along the 5 km route.
The preparation of the dances starts years before and the selection process for the groups accepted to the celebration happens a few months before. Dancers from all over Estonia come to Tallinn one week before the celebration to put together a show that will be performed three times.
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Source: www.visittallinn.ee and https://2019.laulupidu.ee/en/