What brings thousands of Estonians together in one place? And why are they singing? Foreigners often wonder about the mystical tradition of song celebrations, about how it is possible that every 10th Estonian will meet at festival grounds to sing under a giant arch every 4–5 years. Estonia has a long-standing tradition of music, dance and folklore. This year we are celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the first song celebration. To commemorate this great occasion, we wanted to look back at this event from a statistical point of view.
To sing as one, to breathe as one, to move as one – it’s a powerful feeling. But it would be nothing without the 30,000 singers and dancers and the 70,000 spectators who take part in this event. The first Estonian song celebration was held in Tartu in 1869. It brought together 51 collectives with 878 singers and musicians, and 15,000 spectators from all over the country. The last song celebration, held in 2014, brought together a whopping 1,046 collectives with over 33,000 singers, and 67,000 spectators!