Latvia, Song and Dance Celebration.


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Song and Dance Celebration !

If you are in Riga from the 30th of June to the 7th of July,  you have a historic opportunity to be part of the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration which takes place every 5 years.

The Song and Dance Celebration is an evocative manifestation of the Latvian spirit, and as such, has received a UNESCO “Masterpiece of intangible cultural heritage” listing.  43,000 performers and craftsmen participate in over 50 events in 8 days.

To take part in the Celebration there are 1600 collectives and artistic groups preparing, which includes about 40 000 participants from Latvia and other countries.

The Celebration week is the whole nation embracing ritual, fostering the Latvian cultural self-awareness and strengthening the Latvian identity that roots in culture-based creativity.

It is a creativity celebration, a hymn to genuine values when the tremendous input during five years in enriching the human soul becomes visible…

It is a week when everyday routine over the years acquires sense, when the souls of singers, dancers, brass band players, craftsmen lift to light that reflects in their performance, and when we are proud and full of respect for ourselves, the nation, the country and the state.

Song and Dance Celebration

There is no distinction made between professionals and amateurs, adults and children, as everybody, truly incorporated, in the Latvian culture participates in the Festival (incorporation implies participation).

It is a festival of giving new impetus to the Latvian culture, embracing the language, songs, dances, instrumental music, visual arts – the most wide-scale expression of the nation’s creative spirit.

The Festival consummates the rituals of the previous festivals and outlines the direction for future, stressing the need for creativity in each area.

Song and Dance Celebration

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the composer Ja-zeps Vi-tols will be the landmark of the Festival.

Riga as the European capital of culture 2014 will add thematic saturation to the Festival and foster raising identity awareness in the European context.

The Festival motto this time is: Gaisma li-go Latvija-!

(The light shall li-go in Latvia!)

Here is a list of the events that are particularly suited for visitors.


The Vocal Symphonic Concert
3rd July 7.00 pm at Arena Riga, Skanstes iela 21
The vocal symphonic concert features the best musical talent in Latvia  (1,000 voices and 250 musicians) performing a panorama of Latvian music from the spirit of romanticism to cutting edge contemporary.

Complemented by the popular opera choral hits of this year’s stars, Rihard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi, this is an event to be enjoyed by populists and purists alike, accompanied by an equally impressive visual landscape.
Tickets:  3 – 15 LVL.

Ki-psala Event Centre “Saieta Nams”
Ki-psalas iela 8
From  7.00 pm to “late” on the 4th and 5th  of July, The Latvian Exhibition Centre at K,i-psala, is the place to gather, socialise, eat and drink Latvian specialities, enjoying a variety of Latvian popular and folk music and dance of many genres.

This is where the Celebration participants will go to let their hair down and make new friends!
The entry fee of 3.00 LVL will include the following entertainment program –

4th July

7 – 7.30 pm       Childrens’ folk dance group “Dzintarin,s(” performance
7.30 – 8.30 pm   Childrens’ folk dance group “Zelta sietin,s(” and “Teiksmin,a” performance
8.30 – 9.00 pm   Sing-a-long
9.00 – 9.30 pm   Folk dance group “Purpuri” from Finland
9.30 – 10.00 pm   Folk dance group “Jandali” and “Pastlapoolikud” from Estonia
10.00 – 10.20 pm   Dance competition
10.20 – 11.00 pm   Latvia’s most popular folk-rock group “Dzelzs vilks” dance repertoire
11.00 – 11.20 pm   DJ Z(anis
11.20 – 12.00 midnight “Dzelzs vilks” dance repertoire
12.00 – 4.00 am   DJ Z(anis

5th July

7.00 – 7.40 pm   Childrens’ folk dance group “Teiksmin,a” performance
7.40 – 8.20 pm   Childrens’ folk dance group “Dzintarin,s(” performance
8.20 – 9.00 pm   Childrens’ folk dance group “Zelta sietin,s(” performance
9.00 – 9.30 pm    Fun and games
9.30 – 10.30 pm    Latvian pop rock group ASTRONOUT performance
10.30 – 11.00 pm    Fun and games
11.00 – 11.45 pm    Legendary Latvian rock group “Pe-rkons” performance
11.45 – 12.30 am    DJ Karlo
12.30 – 1.30 am    “Pe-rkons” performance
1.30 – 4.00 am       DJ Karlo

There will be many other events in the K,i-psala Event Centre

30th June    4.00 pm    Parade of Latvian Folk Costumes (Hall 1, 3.00 LVL)
1st July        from 1.00 pm    onwards    Dance Ensemble Competition Final (Hall 2, Free)
2nd  July    7.00 pm    Folk Music Concert “Patterns”  (Hall 2, 3 – 5 LVL)
4th July    7.00 pm    Kokle Music Concert  (Hall 2, 3 – 7 LVL)
5th July    6.00 pm    Senior Choir and Dance Concert  (Hall 2, Free)

Crafts Fair
Every day from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm, from the 2nd to the 7th of July, the Ve-rmanes da-rzs  (Ve-rmane’s Gardens) are full to overflowing with a dazzling array of authentic artisan arts and crafts, and designer souvenirs (the first day starts from 12 noon, the last day finishes at 5 pm).
The Ve-rmane’s Gardens will also feature free concerts by :

Guest ensembles from all over the world    on the 2nd of July    at 7.00 pm
Latvian ethnic minority ensembles         on the 3rd of July    from 1.00 pm to 8.00 pm
The Latvian Folk Music Marathon         on the 5th of July    from 1.00 pm to 8.00 pm

Throughout the city – not to be missed !

4th July

7.00 pm    Wind orchestra concerts at various churches throughout Riga 5th July
7.00 pm     Latvian Ethnic Minority Ensemble Concert in Dom Square

6th July

1.00 am – 8.00 pm     Folklore Day at various venues – The Latvian Open-Air Museum, Ve-rmane’s Garden, The Esplanade, Bastejs Hill, The Opera Square.
11.30 am – 5.00 pm    Street music by vocal ensembles in parks and squares throughout the city.
5.00 pm    The Grand Wind Orchestra Concert in Dom Square

From the 2nd to the 7th of July, at various venues throughout the city there will be free performances by Guest Artist Groups from all over the world including Georgia, Switzerland, Russia, Romania, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Norway, Austria, Italy and Croatia.

The Latvian Folk Art Exhibition “Songs From Other Sources” from the 21st of June to the 8th of September at the Riga Art Space, Kungu iela 3, is a deeply insightful visual treat ! 11.00 am – 6.00 pm (Mondays closed) Entry 2 LVL

Childrens’ Clay Art Figure Exhibition called “The Song Festival Road” from the 26th of June to the 22nd of July at the “Galerija Centrs” Shopping Centre, Aude-ju iela 16.

Giant screens will telecast the final performance of the spectacular dance extravaganza “Te-vu laipas” (In the Footsteps of Our Fathers) on the 6th of July and the Grand Closing Choral Concert “Li-go” on the 7th of July, as well as many other events throughout the week.
The Esplanade, Dom Square, The Botanical Gardens.

7th July    The Ceremonial Parade of Wind Orchestras. At 9.30 am, 1,000 brass and woodwind players will march from the Latvian Society House in Merk,ela iela to the Freedom Monument.

The Grand Parade of 30,000 song and dance participants in full national costume will move (walk, dance, sing)  from the Freedom Monument to the Daile Theatre on Bri-vi-bas iela from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm.

The Grand All Night Sing-a-Long from 11.00 pm to 4.00 am after the Closing Concert at the Mez(aparks Venue.

Tickets are available from Biles(u Paradi-ze ticket offices, or online at:

The Song and dance Celebration is organised by the Latvian National Culture Centre

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