Latvia deserves a visit in every season, but if you have the chance to go in November you’ll attend the celebration of Latvia Republic Day. It is on the 18th of November. Each year they organize a lot of events and Riga becomes even more beautiful. I can’t say exactly what they do, because year after year there is something new. I can describe what I saw in one of my trips there to make you understand how the atmosphere is great. That day is a national holiday and if it happens during the weekend, the country will have a day off on the following Monday.
The Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia is an important date for the country. It reminds to the same day of 1918, at the end of First World War, with the freedom from German and Russian occupation. That independence remained until 1940, the year of the occupation made by Soviet Union forces. Latvia conquested its independence again in 1990. Anyway, I guess you are more interested to know what happens on the 18th November each year. This is the focus of my post.
Latvia Republic Day: the celebration
All around the city of Riga something special happens to celebrate Latvia Republic Day. Of course, the main institutional activities are settled around the Freedom Monument in the center. The statue was built in memory of the soldiers died during the war, fighting for independence. I spent in Riga some hours to enjoy the celebration, from the late afternoon until the first part of the night. Also, I have listened to the President’s speech, but luckily I was with a Latvian who translated the main parts in English for me.
I started my tour in the center watching the enlighted and colored buildings. They project colored lights and figures on the facades, to remind the Latvian flag and also to amaze people. I guess the underline the beauty of old constructions and the prestigious palaces of the capital. This is only to introduce the atmosphere. You can spend hours just to walk and admire the lights and the projections. I took some pictures, they are not the best because it was raining and it was full of people. I hope you can anyway enjoy them and understand how is the Latvia Republic Day.
In the park, there were some modern art installations with colored lights changing fast. Always in the park, on the hill, there were some stylized sculptures with fire to represent the fight for independence. It was cool for me to be there and to celebrate together with Latvians. Then I moved to the Freedom Monument for the speech, not mine. Lights were again the protagonist of the moment. Latvia Republic Day is also a big party.
Going around Riga
Walking in the center of Riga the atmosphere for the Latvia Republic Day is great, but you can find places to drink, dance and meet people. People from all over the country are in the capital and they are ready to party with tourists. After the traditions, the institutional moments, and the shows on buildings facades one of the things to do is go to the river. On Daugava River that crosses the Riga’s center before to jump into Baltic Sea, there are fireworks. A beautiful and long show that you will love as I did.
At the end of the fireworks, it is good to enjoy the party around the city. Life is vibrant on Latvia Republic Day. Then if you are on holiday there is no risk for the day after, no early wake-up. You can drink, dance, chat till the morning. People are friendly and nice and you will have fun. I let my pictures and videos talk for me, but judging, you have to remember that was night, crowded, and raining.
Stay in Riga
My posts about Latvia help you to plan your trip around the country. But I highly suggest you spend a few days in Riga. If you take advantage of the Latvia Republic Day you will enjoy the city even more. There are a lot of solutions form budget to luxury hotels and apartments. A good place is Radisson Blu Daugava Riga. The hotel is located on the river, so it’s perfect to see fireworks. The Old Town, the most attractive for travelers, is just on the other side and guest needs to cross a bridge. The ideal place to start the tour.
Rooms with the view on the lake and the Old Town have huge windows and it is like to have personal postcards of Riga. There is a lot of space and comfort in a modern and well-equipped setting. If you want to search more for a room, I suggest you use the map below. There are a lot of options and good deals ready for you.
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Now you are ready to enjoy Latvia Republic Day. For any question, contact me, I will be happy to answer.