XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration begins

The much-anticipated XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration is underway after a special ceremony in Rīga to honor the conductors and choir directors who will preside over a week of song and dance, with President Raimonds Vējonis in attendance.

"The Song and Dance Celebration is the most beautiful adornment of our culture. It is made up of thousands of people who truly believe in the power of the song and dance and are ready to join together in it every day," said President Vējonis.

You can see a 360 degree Panorama of the traditional parade through Rīga below.

The full program of events is available online, or if you prefer you can download and print the PDF version of the program in the attachment on this page.

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Song and Dance Celebration program

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There will be 65 events, 44 of which are free of charge and 500,000 celebration-goers (equivalent to roughly 25% of the Latvian population) are expected to attend. 

If you are outside Latvia, be sure to pay particular attention to the live coverage on the VISIEM LTV channel which is designed specifically for viewers outside Latvia and should help them avoid geoblocking issues while giving them the ability to watch all the major celebrations anywhere in the world.

You can follow the official Twitter account of the festival for regular updates and video clips.

The official YouTube channel is another source of material, as is the official Facebook page.

The most anticipated events are the great dance performance Māra's Country and the closing concert Following the Starry Path. Approximately 17 000 dancers in the Daugava Stadium will tell the history of Latvia through music, energy, movement, rhythm, color, and the patterns created by the steps of their folk dances.

Whetting everyone's appetite for the magic of folk song, a televized "choir wars" contest June 30 saw various choirs awarded in different categories. Here is a winning performance from the "Kamēr" youth choir.

 

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