LIFE IN LATVIA

FESTIVALS IN LATVIA

Latvia boasts a rich that has been maintained even in modern times. Even though Latvia is a predominantly Christian country, many of the old pagan traditions celebrated by ancient Latvians several centuries ago live on today and are celebrated as holidays. Some Latvian festivals are as follows

Folk Festival

Folklore and ancient traditions are held in high esteem in Latvia. Any tourist who experiences a Latvian folklore celebration and see performances by folk groups will be left with many vivid memories. People who are folklore fanatics participate in events wholeheartedly and with great enthusiasm. These people don't participate simply to get their groups on stage; they participate because it's an integral part of their identities.

Jānis Day Celebrations

A great feast, song and dance, the shortest night of the year spent in front of a bonfire, mystical rituals and even a bit of romance – this is what makes the Līgo celebration or Jāņi. Jāņi is celebrated on the summer solstice on 23 and 24 June. This pagan-like holiday is almost more popular in Latvia than New Year's Eve and Christmas.

Latvian Song and Dance Festival

Latvian Song and Dance Festival is one of the largest amateurchoral events in the world and an important event in Latvian culture and social life. It is also a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The All-Latvian Song and Dance Festival have been held since 1873, normally every five years. During the festivals exhibitions of photography, art and folk craft, orchestra concerts, and a festive parade also take place. Events and competitions leading up to the event occur throughout the period between festivals.

Ligo and Summer Solstice Festival

Midsummer Night or Jāņi celebration can be deemed the most Latvian holiday, marked according to pagan traditions. The festival bears also such names as Līgo, Jāņi Day, Grass Day, and Grass Evening. Līgo. and Jāņi are a somewhat mystic event, as, according to ancient traditions, you have to search for the Legendary fern blossom, wash your face in the grass`s morning dew, and gather herbal plants, which are said to have a special power midsummer.

Lielais Kristaps

Lielais Kristaps National Film Festival is a Latvian film festival. Since 2001 it's organized biannually. Lielais Kristaps is the highest prize awarded in the Latvian cinema. The festival was first held in 1977.

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