Estonia-the country where people sing
The Estonian Song festival is a tradition which Estonians have managed to maintain through decades. It it a very big festival where hundreds of choirs come together and sing national songs. It is also said that it’s one of the biggest choral events in the world. People come together in every five years in mid-summer on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. The first song festival took place in 1869 in Tartu. In the first three festivals only men choirs and brass orchestras participated and the total number of participants was 845. Starting with the fourth festival, mixed choirs were also participating and now there was 2700 people who took part. Since the 1947 children’s and boys’ choirs started to take part and the number of participants rose to 25 000 and above.
The joint choir usually consist of 25 000 participants but in 2009 it was over 30 000 and it performed to an audience of 80 000. It was the biggest festival through the years. During three days 154 000 people were there.
Since 1962 there is also youth song festival. The main performers are young people from schools and these are held because it might happen that the choirs from smaller places might not get to the big festival due to lack of space. Everyone is given a choice to take part of this big festival. The biggest youth song festival was in 2007 where there was 35 400 participants. The total number of people was about 80 000.
Estonian Song Festival is a really big traditional concert and Estonians are really proud of it. In 2003 it was added to UNESCO’s list as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The next Estonian Song festival will take place in 2014. Make sure you will be there! 🙂