The highlight of the 6th International Folklore Contest Festival “The Flower of the Sun” was the closing ceremony and GRAND PRIX award.

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Edvardo Tamošiūno ir Laimono Simaičio nuotr.

GRAND PRIX of “The Flower of the Sun” and EUR 1,500 was awarded to the favourites of the jury and audience – Bahcesehir University Folk Dance Community Youth and Sport Club Association from Turkey, which has won the highest number of awards at the contest of “The Flower of the Sun”. During the closing ceremony of the festival, special awards were also awarded, while the audience got the best award – perfect mood, unforgettable experience and joy of communicating.
The audience award was awarded to the ensemble “Compañia Folclorica Inspiraciones Costarricenses” from Costa Rica, which attracted the audience during the entire contest-festival the most. Even two awards for promotion of traditions were awarded to the music ensemble “Mugam” from Azerbaijan and the folk dance association “Es Broll” from Spain. The award for promotion of stylized folklore, established by the association “The Balts’ Centre”, was awarded to the ensemble “Boyarishnya” from Russia. The award, established by the patron of the contest-festival “The Flower of the Sun” – the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Šarūnas Birutis – was awarded to the Polish song and dance ensemble “Nowa Huta”. The chairperson of the jury dr. Zita Kelmickaitė presented her special award to the ensemble “The Lost Clog” from Australia.
The 6th International Folklore Contest Festival “The Flower of the Sun” welcomed participants from eleven countries: Australia, Azerbaijan, Spain, Costa Rica, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Hungary and Lithuania.
Few days ago the winners of all six categories of the contest of “The Flower of the Sun” have already been awarded. The best traditional folk dance group was the folk dance association “Es Broll” from Spain. The ensemble decided to donate their prize to Šiauliai City Municipality Home for Infants with Development Delays.
The winner of the first place in the category of choreographed folk dance groups was the ensemble “Compañia Folclorica Inspiraciones Costarricenses” from Costa Rica. The best instrumental music group was Bahcesehir University Folk Dance Community Youth and Sport Club Association from Turkey. The Lithuanian ensemble “Aidija” was awarded the first place in the category of folk song ensembles. The best folk song soloist was Steponas Levickis from Australia, and the best solo instrumentalist - Sarkar Aliyev from Azerbaijan.
The 6th International Folk Contest-Festival “The Flower of the Sun” took place on 6-11th of July. “The Flower of the Sun” is the only event in Northern Lithuania, included in the official list of events of International Organization of Folk Art IOV (UNESCO) and FIDAF. In accordance with the research of image, culture and tourism, conducted by Šiauliai University, Šiauliai College, and Northern Lithuania College, “The Flower of the Sun” is considered to be the event representing the city the most. It is included into the top list of cultural events in Šiauliai city and region. The Patron of the Festival – Šarūnas Birutis, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. This year the events of “The Flower of the Sun” were dedicated to the year of ethnographic regions.