Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Australian Lithuanian Festivals

Social organizations were established in almost every place where Lithuanians settled in Australia. In December 1950, at a meeting of Lithuanians from all over Australia, the Australian Lithuanian Community (Australijos Lietuvių Bendruomenė ALB) was established. Sport festivals were first organized and then from 1952 a cultural programme was established. One of the aims of the ALB was to foster Lithuanian culture and language, in order to maintain the interests of the younger generations. In 1960 the first festival of Lithuanians from all states met in Sydney. The programme was quite broad; music, national dancing, literature, song evening and an art festival. The number of events have increased over the years.

Every second year Lithuanians gather from all over Australia for a week long festival. In Festival begins on the 26th of December and culminates in the New Year Eve's Ball. A scout camp follows.

Adelaide held the festival in 1962, 1968, 1974, 1980, 1988, 1994, 2002.

The 27th Australian Lithuanian festival will be held at the end of 2012 in Adelaide once again.

The photograph above was the opening ceremony for the 1988 Festival in Adelaide. A parade of participants walked from the Catholic Cathedral to the Adelaide Town Hall, down King William street. The flag poles down the centre of the road flew Lithuanian flags.

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