On the invitation of President Kersti Kaljulaid, six European heads of state will arrive in Tartu on June 22 to celebrate the centenary of the Republic of Estonia.
The XVIII Gaudeamus opening concert will be attended by the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, the President of Iceland Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis, the president of Poland Andrzej Duda and the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö.
“It is especially festive and symbolic that we can celebrate our birthday with states, who understand what it means to hope and act in the name of finally gaining the right to determine our own fates,” commented President Kaljulaid. “Singing and dancing are important elements of any state’s identity, and since the tradition of university singing festivals started in Estonia, the invitation was timed to coincide with the event,” added the head of state.
President Kaljulaid and the other heads of state will meet with the Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas and visit the Estonian National Museum, the University of Tartu, and the Ahaa Science Centre. In the evening, President Kaljulaid will be holding a banquet for the heads of state, and the day will culminate with the opening ceremony of the song and dance festival Gaudeamus, with lights and music along Vabaduse Street and the banks of the Emajõe River.
Gaudeamus is held alternately in all three Baltic States and generally every four years. This year, Gaudeamus will take place in Tartu on 22-24 June, and participants include the best student choirs, dancers and instrumentalists from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, with a total of about 4000 performers.