From May 31 to June 4, Baltica, the largest international folklore festival in the Baltic States, every year from one Baltic country to another, takes place in Estonia. On June 1, heritage days will take place in Räpina and Vargamäe, and on June 2-4. until June, a traditional village will be set up on the Towers’ Square in Tallinn. This summer’s International Folklore Festival Baltica will be held for the 35th time.
All of Estonia in the palm of your hand
What makes the Baltica festival special is its content – a genuine local tradition. This year’s party will be attended by approximately 1,000 participants from all over Estonia, whose origins are revealed by the unique clothes, dances, musical instruments, songs, crafts, food, and language of their locality. In addition to those involved in folklore, the Kihnu Cultural Space, the Embassy of Old Võromaa, the Mulgi Culture Institute, and the Viru Institute represent their regions. In this way, anyone who is curious can confidently approach to acquire basic knowledge of the Võru, Kihnu, Mulg, or Lügnuse dialects. For the average visitor, the traditional village is divided into different regions of Estonia in order to navigate this colorful maze. In addition, in the space of minorities, Udmurts, Mordovians, Inger Finns, Belarusians, Jews, and many others who live in Estonia will perform the folklore of their country of origin.
From a memory game to Bulgarian mummers
The schedule of regional stages also accommodates other exciting gems. So you can test your heritage-related knowledge in a memory game led by Marju Kõivupuu and Tarmo Tiisler, pick up an instrument from home and play along in an instrument players jam session with other folk musicians, learn Seto dances, sing runic songs, dance the dances of the 19th-20th village party in the dance club, play song games, show off folk costumes or dance to party table songs from grandmothers’ well used songbook. The program also includes guests from across the border: folklore groups from Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, Lithuania, and Finland.
The theme of this year’s Baltica is “Heritage attracts!” – let’s take part in everything boldly and let the heritage attract us because a genuine village party has no boundaries between participants and performers. Heritage is accessible and affordable to everyone. The folklore festival Baltica hopes that the native roots of many of the festival’s regular visitors will grow inside them and will urge them to discover their special local nature.