International Folklore Festival Skamba Skamba Kankliai

Images courtesy of Vilniaus etnines kulturos centras. Photo of dancing in rain, by Egidijus Skiparis
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Country and Region LithuaniaVilnius
Type of Festival Dance, Music
Location of Festival Vilnius, Lithuania
Festival Contact Information

International Folklore Festival Skamba Skamba Kankliai
Vilniaus etnines kulturos centras
Pamėnkalnio g. 34
LT-01114 Vilnius
Phone/fax: (370) 5-212-25-93

Festival Description

Vilnius centre of ethnic culture organizes the international folklore festival - “Skamba skamba kankliai” in Vilnius, Lithuania. In the year 2012 the festival will be held from May 24-27 and is the oldest International Folklore Festival in Lithuania. Vilnius ethnic culture centre presents cultural activities, festivals and concerts that serve to promote and preserve the authentic cultural traditions of Lithuania. Folklore ensembles/performers are invited to participate in this festival.

If you are involved in, or can recommend an authentic folklore ensemble, it would be a great honor to make contact with them and invite them to this festival. Please contact Mrs. Kristina Ivanauskaite-Juciene, the Coordinator for public relations if you have any questions regarding the festival at +370 5 279 12 87 or by e-mail

Festival Dates May 24 - 27, 2012
Festival Links

Festival Story:

The origin date of the festival was found in the personal archives of Daiva Čičinskienė, who was the longtime secretary of the Vilnius city folk music and culture department. Fortunately, Eugenija Venskauskaitė was the one who took the initiative to gather together the scattered and undigested facts of festival‘s history.

The idea, that Vilnius needed an instrumental folk music festival had revolved in the minds of Vladas Bartusevičius and other well-known culture characters. In October of 1973 the folk music concert “Skamba, skamba kankliai“ took place in House of Sport. Petras Juodelė used this same festival title in May of 1974, which was organized in halls of Vilnius and Park of Mountains, with Vidas Aleksandravičius serving as the director. The first concerts of “Skamba, skamba kankliai” included song and dance ensembles as well as ethnographical ensembles (rehearsed in a united program, patronized by Laima Burkšaitienė, leader of folklore ensemble of Vilnius University and since then the song “Vidury lauko pušynas augo“, performed by all folk ensembles, remains popular even now). Promoters of stylized folk art worked alongside each other to develop authentically traditional culture at the festival.

All this was done in natural resistance against Soviet celebrations, stylized folklore and Sovietized ideology. It was very important in the period of 1974-1988 to restore the faith of citizens in value of native culture, for its everlasting survival. Since 1979, the grounds of the Vilnius University, Alumnatas and other places had become granges for folklore lovers during the time of the festival. All who came to this event danced, sang and enjoyed the friendly whirlwind of people, having fun. The concerts of the festival took place not only in the squares of old-town, but also in concert halls. Every year the organizers of the festival find and assimilate new venues for the festival — leading eventually to the occupation of Sareikiškės Park, and Bernardinai Church. The halls of Academic and Youth theaters had also conformed to the “rules” of the old music.

The festival “Skamba, skamba kankliai“ has taken place during the last week of May for years. At the beginning it was only one day, but later it varied from three days to almost a full week-long event. The arrangement of the festival is also very unique. It starts with the ideas, brought by the leaders of Vilnius ensembles, and after that a small initiative group of more experienced leaders conclusively forms the conception of the festival. Such people like Aldona Ragevičienė, Zita Kelmickaitė, Jonas Trinkūnas, Daiva Račiūnaitė - Vyčinienė, Evaldas Vyčinas and all leaders of folklore ensembles in Vilnius gave a lot of time for this festival. Over the course of time songs and dance ensembles which existed until 1984 were replaced by an active movement of folklore ensembles and firmed up folklore ensembles. Now this festival fosters the traditional trend of folklore, however it is also always open for innovations.


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