Ligo in Riga 2016.
Summer solstice is very beautiful traditional celebration in Latvia. Also caled Midsummer and in latvian Līgo or Jāņi. National holiday is 23 and 24 of June. Many leave city to celebrate by nature, it is the shortest night a year, daylight is 17h and 52 minutes. There are many pagan elements from pre- Christian times, it is celebration of fertility. Many would decorate houses with birch trees and flowers, women would make flower crowns, many would wear traditional folk costumes. People sing songs and sometimes dance too. Customs are to make bonfires, drink beer and eat traditional cheese with caraway seeds.
But what to do if you just arrived in Riga and do not have Latvian friends yet with whom to celebrate? There are happening many beautiful events around city where it is possible to get to know local traditions also while before actual midsummer.
June 17-22 from 9:00-22:00, Vērmanes park, City center
Summer solstice market at Vērmanes park. Crafts from all around Latvia, tasty traditional food. Possibility to get to know latvian traditions how to celebrate and participate in different activities.
June 21 at 19:00, Culture palace “Ziemeļblāzma”, Vecmilgrāvis
Wreath-making and other creative workshops, dance and Līgo songs with folk communities and dance groups of the “Ziemeļblāzma” cultural center.
Ziemeļblāzma is located in northen part of city in Vecmilgrāvis. It is 30 minutes ride from city center. Bulding is from 1903 and it is cultural and architectual heritage. Address is Ziemeļblāzmas street 36. Here are directions how to find it
June 22 9:00-19:00, Dome Square, Riga Old Town
Ligo market- beautiful flovers, local products, handcrafts, food, impossible without traditional cheese and beer. Performances of folk ensembles and dancing.
June 23 20:00-4:30, Riga Old Town by River Daugava, 11.novembra krastmala
Midsummer celebration in Riga Old Town with concerts, dancing, singing, traditional food, decorations and bonefire.