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Mulled wine, roasted almonds and joyful mood
Christmas Fair in the Old Town of Riga will be open from December 1 to January 7
Enticing aroma of mulled wine and roasted almonds, shiny gingerbread cookies and handiwork of Latvian craftsmen: Christmas Fair in the Old Town is one of the sure signs that the most joyful holiday of the year is at hand.
Can you feel how gently the music plays, how magnificently decorated Christmas Trees gleam in the light of lanterns, and having felt the cold your feet carry you towards the bonfires where warmth awaits?
Bacon pies and traditional sauerkraut with sausages are delicious.
Glass jars are filled with amber honey, and needlewomen show off ornamented mittens and socks. You will find wax candles, ecological toys, linen towels, tablecloths and bed sheets. Leather workers will offer you colourful bags and purses. There are wicker baskets, wooden spoons and many other beautiful things that you would want to buy for yourself or as a present to someone else.
Every day concerts take place in the Fair, merry-go-round provides fun times and... you can even meet Santa Claus himself.
A necessary tradition of the Fair held in the Dome Square of the Old Town is also celebration of winter solstice according to pagan customs of the ancestors. Log which takes on all the badness of the year – mistakes, failures, offences and other things – first is symbolically dragged along the streets of Old Town and later burnt, while people sing songs and play games. After this good work cheeks blossom like roses, and spirit is elated.
Christmas Tree will be lit and Christmas Fair will be opened with a beautiful concert on December 3 in the Dome Square. On the eve of December 31, lights in it will not be switched off until the early morning.
On the New Year's Eve, the whole Old Town from the coast of the River Daugava up to the Freedom Monument is filled with people awaiting the approach of the New Year. Festive atmosphere can be felt everywhere.
When the clock strikes twelve, people look across the Daugava to see the first signs of fireworks. As the fireworks light up the sky, people wish good luck to each other, and hearts are filled with hope that the New Year will be very good.