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Opening ceremonies in East Berlin, August 5, 1951
The World Festival of Youth and Students is an international event, organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), a left-wing youth organization, jointly with the International Union of Students since 1947. The largest festival was the 6th, held in 1957 in Moscowmarker, when 34,000 young people from 131 countries attended the event. This festival also marked the international debut of the song "Moscow Nights", which subsequently went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized Russian song in the world. In terms of the number of the attending countries, the largest festival was the 13th, held in 1989 in Pyongyang, North Korea, when 177 countries attended the event.

During the Cold War many festivals were held in capitals of Communist states because of the enormous expenditure and coordination required to support a youth festival. As a result, by the 1960s the festivals were accused of being a powerful tool of Communist propaganda.

The next festival is to be in July-August 2009 and was proposed to be in Minskmarker, Belarusmarker. However in June 2008 Belarus has withdrawn its proposal for organizing a new festival . After withdrawal of Belarus, it is estimated that the festival will be postponed to summer of 2010 and this decision awaits the next meeting of WFDY, the main organizer of the festival.


# Year Host Participants Countries Motto
1st 1947 Praguemarker, Czechoslovakiamarker 17,000 71 "Youth Unite, Forward for Lasting Peace!"
2nd 1949 Budapestmarker, Hungarymarker 20,000 82 "Youth Unite, Forward for Lasting Peace, Democracy, National Independence and a better future for the people"
3rd 1951 East Berlin, East Germanymarker 26,000 104 "For Peace and Friendship – Against Nuclear Weapons"
4th 1953 Bucharestmarker, Romaniamarker 30,000 111 "No! Our generation will not serve death and destruction!."
5th 1955 Warsawmarker, Polandmarker 30,000 114 "For Peace and Friendship – Against the Aggressive Imperialist Pacts"
6th 1957 Moscowmarker, Soviet Unionmarker 34,000 131 "For Peace and Friendship"
7th 1959 Viennamarker, Austriamarker 18,000 112 "For Peace and Friendship and Peaceful Coexistence"
8th 1962 Helsinkimarker, Finlandmarker 18,000 137 "For Peace and Friendship"
9th 1968 Sofiamarker, Bulgariamarker 20,000 138 "For Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"
10th 1973 East Berlin, East Germanymarker 25,600 140 "For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"
11th 1978 Havanamarker, Cubamarker 18,500 145 "For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"
12th 1985 Moscowmarker, Soviet Unionmarker 26,000 157 "For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"
13th 1989 Pyongyangmarker, North Koreamarker 22,000 177 "For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"
14th 1997 Havanamarker, Cubamarker 12,325 136 "For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"
15th 2001 Algiersmarker, Algeriamarker 6,500 110 "Let’s Globalize the Struggle For Peace, Solidarity, Development, Against Imperialism"
16th 2005 Caracasmarker, Venezuelamarker 25,000 144 "For Peace and Solidarity, We Struggle Against Imperialism and War"


  1. John C. Clews (1964) Communist Propaganda techniques, printed in the USA by Praeger and in Great Britain
  2. Belarus Hosts the XVII World Festival of Youth and Students
  3. WFDY News, June 2008
  4. Cuba Información: La Juventud Mundial no renunciara a los Festivales

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