The 12th Estonian Youth Song and Dance Celebration
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Song and dance celebrations are an old and very important tradition for Estonia and Estonians. The first song celebration took place in 1869 and the first dance celebration in 1934.
In Estonia we have four nation-wide song and dance celebrations in the course of every ten years: every second and seventh year of the decade a youth song and dance celebration, and every fourth and ninth year of the decade a general song and dance celebration. In 2003 the tradition of song and dance celebration was placed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The youth version of the Song and Dance Celebration was introduced in the early 1960s to accommodate the huge numbers of youth choirs and dance groups in Estonia. It's held in different years from the main celebration, but is every bit as spectacular.
The 12th Youth Song and Dance Celebration will be held from June 30 to July 2 2017. Tens of thousands of young performers will fill the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
as well as the Kalev Central Stadium for the three-day festival, with the slogan "Here I’ll stay".
The Song Celebration (July 2) is a concert of around six hours in length, with different choirs and orchestras performing. The concert begins with joint choirs of about 20 000 performers. Songs and music take their most powerful form when multiple voices blend together.
The Dance Celebration (June 30 and July 1) consists of a performance of around two hours with thousands of dancer's and gymnast's groups on the dance ground. Together the 8000 performers in the dance celebration form beautiful dance patterns and perform more than 20 different dances and gymnastics programmes.
One of the highlights, held on the festival's last day, will be the traditional procession through the city centre.
Programme of the celebration:
Friday, June 30 2017
19.00 First performance of the Dance Celebration, Kalev Central Stadium
Saturday, July 1 2017
13.00 Second performance of the Dance Celebration, Kalev Central Stadium
15.00 Folk Music Celebration
19.00 Third performance of the Dance Celebration, Kalev Central Stadium
Sunday, July 2 2017
14.00 Song Celebration at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
are a short walking distance (around 20 minutes) away from Tallinn’s city centre. You can also take tram no 1 or 3 to Kadriorg and continue on from there to Pirita. Buses no 1A, 5, 8, 34A, 38 take visitors to Lauluväljak (Song Festival Grounds) stop and buses no 19, 29, 35, 44, 51, 60, 63 stop at Oru stop.
Note that during the procession traffic will stop at the city centre and bus services will be redirected.
XXVII Song and XX Dance Celebration: July 5-7, 2019
XIII Youth Song and Dance Celebration: July 1-3, 2022
XXVIII Song and XXI Dance Celebration: July 5-7, 2024