The song festival is of profound significance to Estonians. The country's rich singing tradition has served as a 'cultural glue', bonding and galvanising the nation throughout the many occupations it has endured. The first song festival was held in Tartu in 1869 as was the second one before the event was permanently relocated to Tallinn.
Last Sunday at 4am the torch ceremony began, which saw the flame commence its 18 day journey from Tartu to Tallinn. When the torch arrives in Tallinn the flame will then be placed on a tower next to the stage at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds.