A Festive Summer in Riga
Riga in the summer is absolutely magical. The long days and short nights in Latvia mean that people can stay out longer and enjoy the warm weather. Lots of festivities take place during the summer. Recent festivals in Riga this summer include the Ice Cream Festival and the ongoing Riga Opera Festival, which features popular operas and ballets in its repertoire. A full though non-exhaustive list of events in the Baltic region has been compiled by LSM.lv here.
The upcoming weeks are particularly exciting as Latvia’s rich and vibrant culture takes center stage with multiple national cultural events. Midsummer, also known as Ligo, is celebrated throughout the night of the summer solstice each year. Latvians stay up all night wearing flower wreaths on their heads, gathering around bonfires to celebrate the shortest night of the year. It’s common to enjoy beer, cheese, and sing and dance to folk songs. The festival is filled with customs and traditions, each carrying its own meaning and significance. To learn more about Ligo, you can refer to our previous posts on Ligo here and here!
Summer this year is extra special due to the Song and Dance Festival, which will be celebrating 150 years since its inception. The festival showcases the best of the performing arts in Latvia, featuring numerous choir groups, dancing, and theater showcases throughout Riga for a whole week. It offers a fantastic glimpse into Latvian culture and history, as performances are carefully arranged to reflect the rich cultural heritage and history from different regions of Latvia. Tickets for the most popular events are highly sought after and some have even sold out within 20 minutes of their release. The festival is held only once every five years, so if you’re in Riga at the beginning of July, make sure to check it out! Otherwise, you can also find recordings of the main event on YouTube.
Hope everyone has a fantastic summer in Riga!
Yeap, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Riga
(Photo credits to the author)