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Folklore and Customs

Latvia is proud of its rich heritage of folklore and folk customs that cannot be encountered anywhere else. A significant part of the modern Latvian lifestyle includes such unique traditions as the summer solstice holiday Jāņi or “Liigo!”, the Latvian Song and Dance Festival, a treasure trove of folk songs (dainas), mythology, traditional dress, and folk dancing.

Century-old traditions

Each deity in Latvian folklore has its own symbol, which protects its wearer, providing strength or beauty, while the folk songs, fairy tales, and legends describe life long ago. Customs are most evidently manifested at the Jāņi summer solstice celebration, via mummery during the winter solstice, the Meteņi festival in February, and specific egg-dying traditions at Easter.

A great place to learn about the history of Latvia, traditional rites, and ancient crafts - the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum in Riga.

The best way to learn about the ingrained folk spirit of Latvian singers is to experience the Latvian Song and Dance Festival, held once every five years offering the finest choral performances and breathtaking folk dance choreography.

Festive markets

Ahead of Jāņi, Christmas, and other celebrations, Latvian towns are known for their annual fairs that always provide a good lesson about traditional craftsmanship – weaving, ceramics, basketry, jewelry-making, wood carving, and  metal forging . You will be able to try your own hand in these ancient trades.

Folk and ancient culture festivals

Every three years, - the International Baltic Folk Festival "Baltica" is organised, where one can get the feel of the ancient customs and rites of Latvia, and those of its closest neighbor-nations.

Ancient traditions in modern execution can be seen at the "Baltijas Saule" (Baltic Sun) Festival, which is dedicated to the 1236 Battle of Saule (Sun). Held in Riga every year, the festival offers various activities from sword fighting in authentic apparel to ethno-rock concerts.

Baltic sea at Irbe river from sky.
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Liv coast

The Liv coast. The most quiet beaches on the shores of the Baltic Sea, unique treasures of nature and culture, Liv fishermen villages...
Song and Dance Celebration
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Song and Dance Celebration

Every five years, for one week. This is the time frame for THE main event in Latvian cultural life - the Nationwide Latvian Song and Dance...
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Suiti county

In west Kurzeme, near Alsunga, Gudenieki and Jūrkalne, there is one of the most special provinces not only in Latvia, but in the whole...
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Jānis day celebrations

Do not miss the most Latvian holidays of all – Jani or "Liigo!", the night from June 23 to June 24  (in harmony with the summer solstice),...
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Hands-on activities

Latvia is not only rich in sights and attractions but also a place where you can play an active part in craft workshops, holiday...
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