Starting on July 3, the biennial international folk contest-festival 'The Flower of the Sun' in Šiauliai, northern Lithuania, will bring together representatives of traditional music culture from 11 countries, according to a press release issued by the organizers.
During this year’s festival, there will be more than 30 events with performers from Chile, India, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
In the two-day contest, Lithuanian and foreign ensembles and performers will compete in six categories: traditional folk dance groups, choreographed arrangements of folk dance groups, instrumental music groups, traditional singing groups, solo vocalists and solo instrumentalists.
Participants will be evaluated by international experts from Spain, Hungary, Latvia, and Lithuania, who will be chaired by the Lithuanian ethnomusicologist Dr Loreta Sungailienė.
On 3 July, a parade will proceed down the central boulevard, culminating with the opening concert on the Great Stage of the festival.
An exceptional event of the festival is the traditional Night of Art and Culture on July 5, hosting music performences, dance lessons, poetry readings, line dance performances, puppet theatre and workshops, exhibitions, various artistic actions, game presentations and other activities.
Since the first festival in 2005, the event has been attended by folk performers from more than 40 countries. The Flower of the Sun is included into the official list of events by the International Organisation of Folk Art IOV (under UNESCO) and the Federation of International Dance Festivals (FIDAF).