Christmas in Riga
While relaxing in Riga on Christmas Day, you can admire the city decoration in the form of illuminated squares, bridges and shop windows, as well as visit the Christmas markets.
Features of the celebration of Christmas in Riga
Latvians prepare for Christmas 4 weeks before the holiday, the main decoration of which is the Advent wreath: woven from spruce branches and plant stems, it is decorated with cones, nuts, dried flowers, colorful ribbons and 4 candles (lit one week at a time). On the long-awaited day, it is customary to exchange gifts and good wishes, and since fasting ends on Christmas for Catholics, after the service they rush to the festive table with the whole family..
On the Christmas table, Latvians always have gray peas with smoked meats (since peas symbolize tears, you need to eat the whole dish in order to live without tears next year), sauerkraut stew with ribs, and piparkukas dessert. If you decide to spend your Christmas evening in Riga catering establishments, take care of booking a table in advance (not only festive Latvian dishes will be waiting for you there, but also entertainment programs).
Entertainment and celebrations in Riga
- December 17-30 is recommended to visit “Jarmarka” - exhibition and sale of original works of students of the Latvian Academy of Arts (the range of products changes almost daily).
- With children on Christmas holidays, it is worth visiting the Riga Zoo (they will be able to see performances with trained cows, white lions, exotic animals), the Chekhov Russian Theater and “New Years Adventure” in “Sleep theater”.
- To listen to Christmas tunes, you can head to St. Peter's Church.
- From the end of November to the beginning of February Riga offers to take part in the celebration of the Winter Music Festival “Winterfest” (he pleases the guests with a series of concerts dedicated to Christmas in December, and in February to the birthday of the Hermann Braun Foundation), and from the beginning of December to the beginning of January - to visit the Festival “Path of christmas trees” (you can see Christmas trees made of glass, metal, paper, bricks, wooden blocks - a special route has been developed for their inspection).
Christmas markets in Riga
From the end of November to the end of December, the Riga Christmas Market operates on Dome Square. At this time, a spruce tree, tents with Christmas delicacies (including sweets) and souvenirs in the form of New Year's decorations, handicrafts of folk craftsmen, mittens and socks made of sheep wool, dishes, clothes are set up on the square, and musical themed events are regularly held here. all kinds of entertainment are arranged for little guests.
Other Christmas markets can be found on the Esplanade (interesting events are constantly held here, for example, in 2012 there was “Rabbit Kingdom” - an impromptu town with castles, houses, bridges, ladders, the main inhabitants of which were rabbits) and Livu Square (works of artists and artisans are exhibited here, which can be purchased).