Midsummer festival symbolizes bond between Baltic and Nordic peoples, president says
President Dalia Grybauskaitė took part in the Nordic Baltic Midsummer celebration at the Vilnius University Botanical Garden in Kairėnai – a traditional calendar festival observed together by Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway for the third consecutive year.
“The Nordic and Baltic countries are an excellent example of strong regional cooperation. We are bound by common values, traditions, culture. The Midsummer festival – known as Joninės in Lithuania – is the best proof of this. It has become a much-awaited community event, highlighting the strong bond between our nations,” the President said.
The Midsummer celebration placed special focus on Lithuania this year where 2015 was declared the Year of Ethnographic Regions. The best of Lithuanian customs and traditions were introduced to a large gathering of diplomats, business people, artists, and intellectuals from the Nordic and Baltic countries.
The President underlined that this year’s Midsummer festival was exclusive because Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were celebrating twenty five years of regained independence. The folk songs played at the open-air party reminded everybody that a quarter of a century ago the three Baltic States won back their freedom and independence by singing.
The Nordic and Baltic countries presented their unique folk traditions at the Midsummer festival – dances, music, national cuisines. Their shared folklore was also in the center of events: bonfires, magic, and games with field flowers. Midsummer – when the nights are the shortest and the days the longest – is observed by all Nordic and Baltic peoples.