So here’s the scoop. Every Laulupidu begins with a parade/processional/pilgrimage from Vabaduse väljak to Tallinna Lauluväljak. This is roughly 4 km. This was arguably my favorite part of the trip. Everyone wears their traditional garb and walks with their ensemble. They’re typically waving an Estonian flag or some object that to them, represents part of their identity as singers in this Estonian song festival. For overseas communities, this often means carrying a flag of their nationality in addition to the Estonian flag. Get it? Got it? Good.
7:45 – I wake up. My alarm was set for 8. I’m too excited. I start packing.
8:35 – Worry I’m not layered properly. It was so cold during rehearsals.
9:05 – Whip up a hearty breakfast—I wasn’t sure when I would be eating next.
9:30 – The parade officially starts right outside my hostel. I still have half a boiled egg left
9:30-9:36 – I inhale the rest of my breakfast, wash my plate, unabashedly wipe my mouth with my sleeve and clamber out the door.
9:36 – Realize the front of the parade is already several blocks down. They must’ve started early.
9:37 – Commit to power walking my way across Tallinn to get to Lauluväljak before they do.
10:15 – Succeed and stake out a prime picture spot. Take hundreds of pictures.
To be continued in the next post. Also check these pictures out! The face blurring might be overkill, but I really don’t want to get in trouble. I’ve made it this far. There’s a lot of gray area right now and I don’t want to cross the line…
I know you can’t see their faces, but I’ve tried to keep the smiles. There is so much joy in these photos. It would be a shame to erase that too.