Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has officially marked the opening of the popular song festival in Vilnius.
The 'Here is my Home' festival takes place on July 2-6 and brings together tens of thousands of people for folk songs, dances and theater performances.
"Together dancing and singing we again are proud of our rich traditions and create ambitious plans for future. Standing shoulder to shoulder we feel again how strong, lively and precious Lithuania is," said the president.
Over 37,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year, organizers say.
On July 6, the National Costume Day will be held for the first time at the festival. Organizers have invited participants to wear the national costume or its attribute for the day.
The Folklore Day, which opens the Festival, will bring together about 6,000 performers in Sereikiskiu Park.
The Folk Art Exhibition features selected works of the best contemporary folk artists from all over Lithuania and items from the stocks of museums.
The final and the most impressive touch of the Festival is the Song Day, which is traditionally held in Vingis Park, on the open-air stage specially built for this purpose. About 12,000 singers in about 400 choirs - of children, youth, women, men and mixed - sing together on this day.