If you haven’t visited Lithuania in the middle of summer when the great Lithuanian
Art Olympics takes place here, it will probably be difficult for you to imagine what
a choir of 20 000 sounds like or what the ornaments traced by 9 000 dancers in
a single stadium look like. Is it possible to fit the whole country with its variety of
villages, towns, dialects, olds songs, dances, arts, foods and other traditions inside
the territory of a city park?
All that and more you can see in the Song Celebration. The fundamental parts that
form its programme are: Folklore Day, devoted to the traditional culture; Ensembles’
Evening, consisting of colourful, theatrical, stylized performances of folklore ensembles,
combining music, song and dance; Dance Day, an interpretation of Lithuanian
customs, traditions, and symbols through professionally created dance choreography.
The festival’s programme is complimented by the Folk Art Exhibition; the afternoon
of Kanklės (traditional Lithuanian string instrument) music; performances by
wind orchestras and amateur theatre groups; professional art exhibitions as well
as the colourful and emotional parade of all festival participants. The celebration is
crowned by the Song Day uniting thousands of singers into a colossal choir.
The 2018 Song Celebration is dedicated to the centenary anniversary of the restoration
of the independent state of Lithuania. “In the name of…” is a phrase taken
from the state anthem, the National Chant as it is called in Lithuania. The chant has
given the ideological ground for the celebration, the axis of all its elements. The
respect for the Homeland, its past, people who created and still create the state,
respect for the verity, light, morality, a call for concord and unity, a statement of
meaningful ways to live and work both for personal and state welfare – these are the
fundamental values of the chant, being contemplated and revived in the celebration.

Viktorija Daujotytė