On 18 November 2018 Latvia celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of Latvian Independence with a rich programme of events. A wide variety of events will be held in the capital city and in the four regions of Latvia, and our country will be honoured throughout the world with an international diplomatic programme. More than 900 events will take place throughout the month of November, of which the greater part is free of charge. The most important events will also be accessible on TV and radio.
The diverse celebration programme includes concerts and exhibitions, the traditional military parade and honour guards, as well as a large variety of events encouraging one and all to celebrate Latvia’s first Centenary and find inspiration for the next. Our tradition of honouring one another has taken root, and events promoting the message “I am Latvia” will be held in most Latvian municipalities. The national holiday will also be celebrated through sports events, hiking trips, and orientiering games, educational events and the Latvian Centenary films, which will be made widely available. A special event organised this year is the Centenary Morning Salute to Latvia.
“It is very important for us, the people of Latvia, to recognise that we are living at a special time – it is our generation that has been given the historical opportunity to experience our country’s centenary. A Kantar/TNS survey reveals that 91% of Latvian residents plan to mark the centenary, more than 80% are participating or will participate in one of the planned initiatives, and 77% agree that the state centenary should be celebrated in a special way. The people of Latvia are diverse; their interests and desires differ. This is why we have planned for different audiences, so each of us can find an event to enjoy. The organisers have designed a geographically and stylistically diverse programme, creating opportunities to celebrate the state centenary throughout Latvia, and around the world many people who feel a connection to Latvia are actively preparing for the celebration,” said Latvian Minister for Culture Dace Melbārde.
Of the 900 events taking place, the greater part are free of charge. Each Latvian municipality has prepared special events for the Centenary.
And, between November 16 and 19, Latvians and their friends and families around the world will come together to celebrate the Latvian State Centenary in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. International events include receptions, exhibitions, and concerts with the participation of Latvian musicians who live in these countries. A rich programme of events, which Latvian embassies, consulates, and diaspora organisations have helped prepare, will be held in other countries as well throughout the month of November.
The Latvian National Armed Forces parade honouring and taking pride in the Latvian Army is traditionally a central event of the 18 November festivities. “November is the month of historical memory when we celebrate our soldiers – Latvia’s freedom fighters. They were brave enough to stand at the cradle of this nation, defending our newly formed country. They were prepared to give that, which is most dear – their lives. Latvia is all of us, who live here. Freedom, independence, and democracy are our fundamental values, and our one responsibility is to protect them,” said Raimonds Bergmanis, Latvian Minster for Defence.
As you make plans for this special day, the organisers encourage you to check the weather predictions and dress warmly and comfortably, as many of the events in the 18 November programme will take place outdoors. And please also check the local traffic news. Remember, in Riga public transportation will be free on November 18.
Everyone is warmly invited to participate in the official events, or to celebrate our nation in the company of friends and family, wearing traditional colourful Latvian mittens. Wear your mittens on the day, send greetings to your friends, and post on social media using the hashtag #LV100.