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The Main Events of 2018
Each year is special in a way, but the year 2018 is going to be particularly special.
Latvia will celebrate its 100th birthday, and, as usual in such celebrations, there will be many beautiful events, in which everyone is welcome to participate – including foreign visitors.
The Centenary celebrations in 2018 will begin on 18th of January with the evening “Gaismas pils” (The Castle of Light). In the middle of summer, one of the most important events will be the XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Festival, which will run for a whole week from the 30th of June to the 8th of July.
The peak of celebrations will be reached in the dark autumn, when 100 years ago, on the 18th of November, Latvia was founded. From the 11th to 19th of November, there will be several events dedicated to the national anniversary – the festival “Three Stars”, the Centenary dance performance, and others.
The celebration programme is planned to be rich and versatile, and each Latvia’s region will offer something entertaining and engaging. Tourists will only have choose what best suits their tastes and interests, and join the celebrators of country’s birthday.
In 2018, just like in other years, there will be many music festivals, reaffirming that Latvia is a musical superpower: the Riga Opera festival will gather audiences from the 7th to 17th of June; Country music festival in Bauska on the 6th and 7th of July; the International Early Music Festival from the 11th to 14th of July; the Sigulda Opera Music Festival from the 27th to 29th of July; the popular music festival “Positivus” in Salacgrīva from the 13th to 15th of July; the international music Festival “Summertime – Inessa Galante & Friends” from the 9th to 15th of September; International music and arts festival “ReStArt” from the 15th of September to the 14th of October; “Christmas Festival” in Dzintari Concert Hall in Jūrmala from the 14th to 30th of December, and more.
It should be noted that in 2018, in addition to the grand Song and Dance Festival, the international folklore festival "Baltica 2018" will take place from the 16th to 21th of June.
Considering that we will celebrate the country's birthday, the next year’s traditional city festivals promise to be extra colourful and enjoyable. The city festival in Daugavpils will take place from the 4th to 10th of June, the Rose Festival in Tukums from the 13th to 15th of July, in Alūksne from the 3rd to 5th of August, in Ludza from the 10th to 12th of August, and the Riga City Festival from the 17th to 19th of August.
Quite often, where is music, there is a fair. With wonderful craft products, the craftsmen from all sides of Latvia will arrive in great numbers to the fair at the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum in Riga, as usual, on the first weekend of June – the 2nd and 3rd of June; the Great Latgalian market in Ludza will be on the 23rd of June; Michaelmas Fair in the Old Town on the 29th of September; Duke Jacob's Fair in Kuldīga on the 6th of October, etc.
In Latvia, the soltice is celebrated in both Christian and pagan spirits, following the ancient traditions. Summer solstice in Latvia is celebrated particularly extensively and enthusiastically. In Riga, as usual, the celebration will start with the Herbs and Grass Market in the Riga Old Town and then proceed to Daugavmala, 11. Novembra krastmala and Dzegužkalns.
The summer solstice is celebrated with authentic charm on the 21st of June at the open-air museum "Vītolnieki" in Rucava and the Turaida Museum Reserve.
The coming of winter and the end of the year is indicated not only by the light-mood music concerts of various genres, but also Christmas markets. The widest selection of gifts and holiday sweets, as always, will be available in Riga’s markets, where from the 8th of December to 6th of January the widely popular festival of spatial objects “Way through the Christmas Trees” will also take place.
In the evening of the 31st of December, huge crowds of the capital's residents and guests will gather at the Daugava embankment to observe the magnificent fireworks, say farewells to the Old Year and welcome the New Year. The tradition of this gathering arose a few years ago, but now it's hard to imagine that we could not have such a joyful celebration of togetherness.