Latvian Song and Dance Festival
Latvians organized their first Song Celebration in Riga in 1873 in which 45 choirs and 1019 participants took part.
Much of the aim of the festival was to help foster in Latvians a sense of national identity - and this certainly worked, as in 1918, during the aftermath of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, Latvia declared itself an independent state.
Unfortunately for the Latvians, Soviet Russia was to reclaim the state as its own following WWII.
However, even the Soviets, who had criminalized the ownership of a Latvian national flag, dared not deny the people their beloved Song Celebrations.
From 1987 to 1991 in fact singing protests became Latvia's most powerful weapon against the Soviet regime, as it did in Lithuania and Estonia, in what is now termed the Singing Revolution.
It is not just a festival – the tradition goes back for 135 years and in 2003 Song and Dance tradition it was recorded in the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Dance element was added only in 1948.
Festivals take place each 4 years, but actually there is two Song and Dance festivals –
The All-Latvian Song and Dance Festival
Youth Song and Dance Festival.…
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