This year, Lithuania is commemorating folk music and the Centenary of Independence with the World Lithuanian Song Festival this summer. It will be one of the biggest events of the year, taking place in Vilnius and Kaunas, from June 30 to July 6.
Ever wish that you could discover the Baltic countries through their music?
Jerulita Travel offers a multi-day, customizable introduction to the world of Baltic Sea music.
This means Stockholm – Tallinn – Riga – Rundale Palace – Kaunas – Vilnius! Discover the heritage of art, music and song from Scandinavia to the Baltic countries. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ll see. For full details on the tour, click here.
Looking for more music tours of Europe? Check out our Chopin tour in Poland.
Swedish folk music bloomed in the 19th century, centering around ballads, dance music and the Polska. The kulning was a type of cow-herding call traditionally sung by women.
Folk Instruments: Nyckelharpa, fiddle, dragspel
We’ll take a morning stroll to Stockholm City Hall, where the annual Nobel Prize Banquet is held. From there, we’ll continue to the Millesgården art museum and sculpture garden on the island of Lidingö. In the evening, we’ll dress up in our finest for a performance at the world-famous Stockholm Opera House.
Estonia is famous for its sweet folksongs, known as regilaul or runo-songs that told of everyday life and epic legends. These old songs largely disappeared by 20th century, replaced by more rhythm folksongs. The 1950s and 60s saw the reemergence of Estonian folk art and music, and by the 1980s festivals served as a method for freedom of expression.
Folk Instruments: Kannel zither, hiiu kannel, torupill bagpipe
After an overnight cruise to Tallinn, we’ll visit the craftsmen and architecture that draws thousands of visitors each year to the Old Town. In many ways, Tallinn is a history buff’s dream, from its ancient 15th-century pharmacy to the Katharina Guilds, where you can watch the local glassblowers, milliners, leatherworkers at their fine trades. In the afternoon, we’ll stop by the Singing Field, Pirita the site of the 1980 Olympics sailing competition. Top it all off with an elegant performance at the Estonian National Opera and Ballet Theater.
Latvian music dates back more than a thousand years, often set to poetry called dainas. Dainas usually contain short stanzas on pagan deities like the sun goddess Saule or moon god Meness.
Folk Instruments: Kokles, trideksnis, zvani, svilpes
On the way through Latvia, we’ll stop by the sea resort Parnu and elegant Sigulda to explore the Sigulda Castle and Gutmana Caves. Once in Riga, we’ll stroll through the stunning Old Town streets to reflect on mercantile history. We’ll visit Richard Wagner street and his house where the composer once lived for two years. We’ll take a step into history in the famous Art Nouveau district of Jugendstil, and then drive out to the Baroque palace, Rundale.
Folk music in Lithuania is usually traditional, often containing pagan elements – these songs have been used in celebration, work, rituals, war and are still popular among folk artists today.
Folk Instruments: Kanklės, ragai, skuduciai
Dive into Lithuania’s rich history of art and music with St. Peter and Paul’s Church, Europos Parkas, and the Jewish Quarter of Vilnius. We’ll take a tour of ancient Trakai and enjoy an evening at the Lithuania Opera House or the Vilnius Philharmonic.