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picture News September, 30 2022
The fourth Estonian-Swedish Song- and Dance Festival The fourth Estonian-Swedish Song- and Dance Festival

Despite the weather reports forecasting rain, it became a sunny and beautiful day as the fourth Estonian-Swedish Song- and Dance Festival took place in Hapsal (Haapsalu), Saturday 14 August.

The first Festival took place in 1933, and it took 80 years until the second Festival was arranged in 2013. The third was arranged in 2016, and this fourth Festival was originally scheduled to take place last year, but the pandemic put an effective stop for that plan.

All four Festivals have taken place at the Courtyard of the Bishop’s Castle in Hapsal; the very same castle that inspired Ilon Wikland to her illustrations of Mattisborgen (Matti’s Fort) in Astrid Lindgren’s book Ronja Rövardotter (Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter). Ilon Wikland was raised in Hapsal and, like so many other Estonians and Estonian-Swedes, she managed to escape to Sweden in the autumn of 1944.

At this year’s Festival, nine choirs and nine folk dance groups performed. Furthermore three orchestras performed the music, including 14 musicians playing talharpa - the traditional Estonian-Swedish four-stringed bowed lyre. 

The Festival was broadcasted directly via YouTube and the recording is available at: And, photos from the Festival are up at SCCE’s Facebook page:



Kristiina Brodén – SCCE Ombudsman


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