The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain (also Chain of Freedom) was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on August 23, 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometres (370 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Lithuanian SSR, republics of the Soviet Union. The chain connected the three Baltic capitals – Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn. The demonstrators peacefully linked hands for 15 minutes at 19:00 local time. Later, a number of local gatherings and protests took place. In Vilnius, about 5,000 people gathered in the Cathedral Square, holding candles and singing national songs, including Tautiška giesmė. Elsewhere, priests held masses or rang church bells.