Centennial Song Festival


This summer, Lithuania welcomes the 100th anniversary song festival in Kaunas and Vilnius from June 29 to July 6. Fourteen song and folk dance concerts will involve a total of 37,000 performers, including 9,000 dancers and 12,000 singers.

The Forest theme invites festival-goers to remember why the festival was created 100 years ago, how it serves to unite the nation and preserve it, just as we preserve our forests for future generations.

The first song festival held in Kaunas in August, 1924, gathered more than 80 choirs, and began a uniqiue tradition. Song and folk dance festivals were also organized by Lithuanians in many countries of the diaspora – in 1953 in Igarka, Siberia, and then in 1956 in North America.

This year, on June 29, the Song Festival will open at the Valley of Songs in Kaunas. Folk Dance Day will have over 9,000 dancers performing at the Soccer Stadium. The high point of the festival will be the concert on July 6 at Vingis Park with 12,000 singers performing both classical and contemporary songs.

The concept of the festival is expressed on its website:

We, the singing and dancing people, make the living tradition that has survived through this century. We are the unique kin that meets every few years and speaks its own language. The language of this kin resembles the language of the earth – the language of the bird and the river, the culture and the memory, for our language is the one of life, spoken by all the members of the Cantor Lituanus – song-loving Lithuanians – kinship.

Our values are vitality with no end. … Thus, preparing for the anniversary Lithuanian Song Celebration we lean on the key word – vitality – and invite everyone to join in reflection on our present and future existence.

United Lithuania Day on June 30 will focus on Lithuanians throughout the world and ethnic groups within Lithuania. Communities and their artists will have pavilions in City Hall Square to exhibit their best projects and present Lithuanians who have promoted Lithuania abroad. Workshops, food-tastings and performances will be available for visitors throughout the day. An event called “I Am Lithuania – Let’s Unite Lithuania” will take place in the afternoon, and on July 1 a forum for representatives of the World Lithuanian Community and Lithuanian institutions will discuss relations with the diaspora, with a view to involving more of its members: “How can I be useful to Lithuania, even though I don’t live there?”

More information about the program is available in Lithuanian and English at https://dainusvente.lt/programa/