Every five years, the Latvian School Youth Song and Dance Festival takes place in Riga, which is one of the central events in Latvia’s cultural calendar. Latvian residents are very proud of this festival, which has even been included on UNESCO’s festival calendar. This year will mark 50 years since the first festival took place, which has been very important in helping to retain the strong traditions of the Baltic song and festivals.
The 10th Latvian School Youth Song and Dance Festival, which will be taking place this summer from July 6 to 11 in Riga, has been included on UNESCO’s list of unique world events. This is the first time that a Latvian cultural event has been included on the list, amid some of the world’s most important cultural events. The Latvian School Youth Song and Dance Festival is unique with its tradition – the abundance of young singers and dancers, with a huge repertoire of songs.
During the 2004 edition of the festival five years ago, over 142,224 children from 5,346 various schools from all over Latvia participated. This year, over 100,000 children are preparing for the festival.
It is undeniable the main event of the festival is the mixed Choir Concert at the massive outdoor venue in the Riga suburb of Mezaparks, which will take place on the evening of July 10. Of course, another very popular and exclusive festival event is the Grand Folk Dance production at the Daugava Stadium in Riga.
The festival will also include a youth symphonic and brass orchestra concert, whilst folk-lore groups will also perform.
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