Sviests – Butter – is a pure product, the best one can get from milk. In this time of margarine we invite to realise and return to values that have stood the test of time. Real values that we can enjoy and be proud of. It takes hard and accurate work to churn butter from milk and cream, to reach the stage when the unnecessary is separated and only the most valuable stays.

This is what the music groups in SVIESTS do – they explore and research the ancient traditional music and churn, churn until the very  essence appears and the nowadays topical and unheard  appears.

In the 1930ies butter was one of the main Latvian export-goods that we sent to other countries and that we were proud of.

SVIESTS – “butter” – also has a slightly ironic meaning, because  until recently we could often hear about traditional or ethno-music a certain attitude – „kas tas par sviestu!” meaning  – “what is this rubbish” (literally “this is butter!”).

Festival theme of 2019 – THE CYCLE OF TIME

In the modern world time is perceived as a linear – from the past to the future – however this is not the only way to perceive time. In the old times time was seen as a cyclical phenomenon – with no beginning and no end. Time was an eternal cycle marked by the change of the seasons and the repeating rhythm of processes in nature. The leading theme of the Ethno-Festival SVIESTS 2019 is the cycle of time, where we will highlight seasonal rites and according activities.

The cyclical passage of time was at the basis of the perception of time and life not only of the ancient Baltic, but also of the ancient Celtic and other European tribes. Their life rhythm was defined by the change of seasons and nature events, according to which works had to be organised to secure themselves and their families with food and prosperity.

In our hasty time nowadays, when we live in constant lack of time and in stress about things we haven`t managed to accomplish, we invite you to reflect on are alternative ways to perceive and plan time. These have been there already since the old times – by becoming aware of that we can change a bit our perception of life and time thus gaining more inner peace and stability. By naturally connecting to the flow of time, it is possible to accomplish the essential and not missing anything. Everything has its own time and if something doesn`t happen, its time hasn`t come yet.

The profane of everyday time in certain periods is exchanged by the sacred time of celebration, which are seasonal rites with certain traditions and ceremonies. The purpose of celebration is to foster future processes – works, harvest, weather, health, prosperity and fertility. Also nowadays the change of profane and sacred time is clearly set – worktime and everyday, which is changed to holidays and vacations, when we choose to sleep in, to celebrate, to travel and do the things we don`t do in our everyday life. When this exchange of times is deranged or one of them takes over, it leads to confusion and disorder – we fall out of the cycle of time, by being late or running ahead of time.

The Ethno-Music compilation SVIESTS was launched in 2005. Since then this compilation has been released every second year, providing an overview of what is going on in the Latvian “post-folklore” scene.