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Folklore Festivals and dances in Baltic countries and Romania, Bulgaria

Folklore Festivals and dances in Baltic countries and Romania, Bulgaria

Old Dec 9th, 2019, 10:09 AM
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Folklore Festivals and dances in Baltic countries and Romania, Bulgaria

I am in the very early stages of planning a driving holiday/ Road Trip to Baltic Countries( Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus) and Romania, Bulgaria.
My dates and duration are flexible.

​​​​​​We are interested in watching genuine folklore Festivals, dances and music. I am not really fascinated by the theatre performance or a dinner in a restaurant with folk dances. ( I don't mind doing both. Suggestions welcome)

We will prefer to travel anytime between May to September, as the weather is pleasant.

Can you all suggest some of the best festivals, locations, stage shows which we can include.

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Old Dec 9th, 2019, 12:51 PM
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You should start with searching for a car (unless you plan to use your own vehicle); cross border rentals are complicated/expensive for this route and nearly impossible if you want to do it one-way.

Returning to folklore, in Romania there about 50 related events from May to September, mainly stage shows; the highest density is in June, but there are at least 5-6 of them every summer month.
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Old Dec 10th, 2019, 05:21 AM
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Aguate, thanks.
yes I have done the research on One way car rentals with drop off charges. They are around 120 to 150 usd in Riga to Tallin as well as Bucharest to Sofia.

Can you please suggest which festival is the best for experiencing local culture.
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Old Dec 10th, 2019, 08:56 AM
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The largest (although not necessarily what you're looking for) is the international folklore festival in Bucharest in the latter part of June, with groups from throughout the country and a few from abroad.
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Old Dec 10th, 2019, 09:42 AM
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Lithuanian villages practise at weekends, the national grand sing along occurs every 2 years, last in 2019.
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Old Dec 10th, 2019, 12:36 PM
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What you are describing would mostly be put on for tourists, at least in the Baltic countries. The only dance performance I saw in Lithuania was hip hop!
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Old Dec 10th, 2019, 02:01 PM
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What a fool I am, I meant Latvia, a country famous for its singing. Never mentioned dancing.
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Old Dec 11th, 2019, 03:12 AM
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Aguate, thanks for the information. Will check the activities in Bucharest festival.
I am looking for folk dances.
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Old Dec 11th, 2019, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ethrush View Post
What you are describing would mostly be put on for tourists, at least in the Baltic countries. The only dance performance I saw in Lithuania was hip hop!
Ethrush, I want to see folk dances in traditional dresses.
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Old Dec 11th, 2019, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Lithuanian villages practise at weekends, the national grand sing along occurs every 2 years, last in 2019.
Bilboburgler,
Can you please elaborate. I want to see folk dances.
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Old Dec 11th, 2019, 04:55 AM
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As part of Latvian's development of its unique language, it has a massive singing festival (plus a fair bit of dancing) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvia...Dance_Festival to do this every village (well those above a certain size I guess) has a choir or a number of choirs who get together and sing. We've stumbled into one and just wandered in and watched it, ate a burger and moved on. The big festivals happen on 2 or 5 year cycles, but the local stuff happens all the time.

https://www.economist.com/prospero/2...ral-superpower

https://www.interkultur.com/newsroom...inging-nation/

https://www.latvia.travel/en/article...ce-celebration

Sorry about mentioning Lithuania, I've never been.
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Old Dec 11th, 2019, 08:15 AM
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Ezer Székely leány napja(Day of 1000 Székely girls) in an annual folk music and dance festival(usually on the 1st Saturday of July) in Csíkszereda(in Hungarian)/Miercurea Ciuc(in Romanian) and in nearby Csíksomlyó.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sz%C3%A9kelys

There is not much information in English, but take this as proof for being a genuine festival by locals for locals, and not a tourist attraction. Google Translate May help, although it doesn't speak Hungarian as well as major languages.

https://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezer_S...%C3%A1ny_Napja

Here is a small taste of the festival from last year:


Last edited by BDKR; Dec 11th, 2019 at 08:21 AM.
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Old Dec 17th, 2019, 08:22 AM
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Thanks Bilboburgler for the info.
unfortunately,the next Latvian Song and dance festival is in 2023.
Will have to look for another festival.
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Old Dec 17th, 2019, 08:26 AM
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BDKR, that's a fabulous festival in Romania. Just the one I was looking for. Local flavour. Non touristy. Great dances in traditional costumes.
Its on a first Saturday of July every year. Shall try and plan my trip around that.

Thanks a lot.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 08:46 AM
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Kalotaszeg is another beautiful region of Transylvania, where the locals(mostly ethnic Hungarians) are proud of their rich tradition and put a lots of effort into keeping it alive as much as they can.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C8%9Aara_C%C4%83latei

On the first week of August there is a folk music and dance camp in Kalotaszentkirály(Sancraiu in Romanian) every year. Again this is not a show for tourists, but for people who love to dance traditional dances, so most of them don't wear traditional clothes, because these are very expensive(made by hand) and most people can't afford it or simply feel more comfortable in the normal clothes, on the other hand the music and the dances are as authentic as it gets.

https://www.kalotaszeg-davincze.ro/e...nd-dance-camp/

https://www.welcometoromania.eu/DN1r...ara_dans_e.htm

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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 09:23 AM
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BDKR, Thanks again for the detailed information.

As this festival is in August, which is very hot and busy peak touristy season, I would like to avoid it.

The 1st one in July suits me. Sounds more fun too.
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Old Dec 19th, 2019, 08:44 PM
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There is a Sighsoara Mediaeval folk festival in the last week of July, which looks touristy but is interesting.
Has anyone been to it.
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