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Song and Dance Celebration
One of the most noteworthy events in Latvia's cultural life is undeniably the Song and Dance Celebration taking part once in five years since 1873. This is a major event involving thousands of participants from all over Latvia. The Song and Dance Celebration has also been included in the UNESCO Listof the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The tradition of folk dancing and choral music is very strong in Latvia. We can even say that almost every Latvian is, or has once been singing in a choir. Thus for almost a century an a half, every five years this tradition reaches its culmination when, following a selection of the best choirs and dance groups, the most outstanding singers and dancers gather in Riga. This is a festival also for Riga, as for the entire week the city lives in time with Latvian folk song and in a swirl of Latvian folk dance.
The festivities bring together more than 30 000 participants – singers, dancers, wind orchestra musicians, folklore groups, amateur theatres, studios of applied and fine arts, and others.
The festival features a number of various concerts and last for a whole week. They start with a Song Celebration procession when the viewers welcome the participants, and end with a final concert at the Mežaparks open air stage with a concert of the 13 000 - strong joint choir.
The next Song and Dance Celebration will take place in 2013.