Merilin's Retro

Vintage from 1950-80 Soviet Union

Estonian Song Celebration


Since I live in Estonia I visited the Estonian Song Celebration in Tallinn yesterday.
The Estonian Song Celebration (Laulupidu) is a unique event, which every five years brings together a huge choir of 25,000 people for a weekend in July. More than 100,000 spectators enjoy the concerts and sing along to the most popular songs.
See more by clicking the image.


Laulupidu 1980

The festivals have become the main anchor of Estonian identity. Twice the song celebrations have led to Estonia’s independence. In the 19th century, the choirs and song celebrations were at the core of the national awakening of Estonian peasants, who discovered the value of their own language and cultural heritage through singing. The national awakening and establishment of identity led to Estonian independence in 1918.

Laulupidu 2014

Laulupidu 2014

After WWII, during the Soviet occupation, the song celebrations helped keep the national identity alive. In 1988, several hundred thousand people gathered at the Song Festival grounds and sang for freedom for many days and nights. The Singing Revolution helped end the Soviet rule and indirectly led to Estonia’s independence once again in 1991.
More here:


2 thoughts on “Estonian Song Celebration

  1. Tere Merilin,

    I have a question to you. I studied from January till June in Tallinn (unfortunately I lost all my knowledge about Estonian, so I have to write in English). Now I want to write an article about my experiences. I was very impressed by the Singing Revolution in Estonia and the other baltic states and want to mention it in my article. Unfortunately I havn´t found so many good pictures – except your one from 1980. It´s really amazing.
    My question is now, if I am allowed to use this picture in my article (I will mention your name, of course) which will be published in a German magazine for people interested in politics, society and history?

    Aitäh in advance!
    Andrea Diepold

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