Tucked between the Baltic countries Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia is abundant with dense forests and alluring beaches. Known for its medieval history, Latvia has emerged as an essential art nouveau country. This Baltic country flourishes with a rich cultural background in the fields of music, food and architecture. Visiting Latvia is sure to engulf one with its charming countryside and entrancing music. Here are a few Latvia festivals that one can attend this year to experience and celebrate the Baltic culture and history. Gear uo for these festival in Latvia that are once in a lifetime experience and not to be missed for sure.
12 Must-Attend Latvia Festivals
Make sure you’re a part of at least four of these stupendous festivals in Latvia that will bring you closer to its colorful culture and heritage.
- Riga Opera Festival
- Positivus Festival
- Riga City Festival
- Lattelecom Riga Marathon
- Midsummer Festival
- Cesis Castle Medieval Fair
- Riga Restaurant Week Festival
- Staro Riga Light Festival
- Summer Sound
- Skaņu Mežs
- Sigulda Opera Music Festival
- Song And Dance Festival
1. Riga Opera Festival
Riga Opera Festival laid the foundation to public music concerts in Latvia almost three decades ago. Since then, it is a part of the country’s tradition that is held high and organised every year to encourage and promote Latvian singers and musicians to the rest of the world. The opera is arranged in the capital city, Riga, annually where thousands of Latvians and international melophiles gather in millions to celebrate the art of music. This year, the popular production The Flying Dutchman is going to be featured on one of the days.
Location: Latvian National Opera, Aspazijas bulvaris 3, Centra Rajons, Riga 1050, Latvia
Entry fee: INR 8000 per person
Dates: 5th-15th June 2019
2. Positivus Festival
One of the best metal festivals in Latvia, Positivus festival is an annual event that brings the youngsters of the world together for two days. This mega-scale festival takes place in the beautiful coastal town of Salacgriva which is about 100 kilometres from the capital. One should visit Latvia during the summer months to enjoy this incredible music festival. This year, the Bastille and Hot Chip are going to perform in the festival which is sure to be a delight.
Location: Udens Street 12, Riga 1007, Latvia
Dates: 26th and 27th July 2019
3. Riga City Festival
The capital city of Riga turns into a carnival arena during the week of Riga City Festival. It is one of the biggest Latvia cultural festivals that has something for every traveller. People take to the streets with fun and frolic and blend in with the locals to celebrate their culture with respect to food, music, art and entertainment. The concerts and entertainment are free for all and thus one can see people flocking over all the parks and gardens to witness the incredible fireworks show. The festival provides a perfect opportunity to get to know the people and country of Latvia.
Location: 11 Novembra Kravista, Riga, Latvia
Dates: 16th-18th August 2019
4. Lattelecom Riga Marathon
Upholding the annual tradition, Lattelecom Riga Marathon is about to take place in Riga. This 10-km marathon is organised every year in order to promote sports as well as help a charity. The marathon has managed to attain international prominence since the time it started in the early 2000s. With around half a million participants, the marathon is divided into three sections. The half marathon is of about 6 km to which anyone and everyone are welcome to participate.
Location: 11 Novembra Krastmala, Centra Rajons, Riga 1050, Latvia
Dates: 18th-19th May 2019
5. Midsummer Festival
It is one of the most joyous Latvia food festivals that the people of Latvia organise in order to celebrate the summer solstice. The Baltic country sees summer and sunshine only for a few months and thus the natives get together to commemorate the occasion by getting together in the open fields and exchanging food. As per tradition, on this major Latvia festivals, Latvians build a bonfire and have an entertaining day around it. Beautiful flowers are turned to wreaths and are left afloat in the streams. Some of the traditional and classic dishes such as pies are available all across the town during the Midsummer Days which is called as Joni in the local language.
Location: All across the country.
Dates: 23th-24th June 2019
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6. Cesis Castle Medieval Fair
Latvians are proud of their history and culture and are not afraid to show it. One of the coolest Latvia cultural festivals is the Cesis Castle Medieval Fair. It is on one day of the year when the natives do their traditional and medieval clothes and live a day in the middle ages. The Cesis Castle is a beautiful castle located just an hour ride away from the capital, Riga. The sprawling castle lawns, gardens, dungeons and the museum are open for tourists, visitors and participants on this day where people have loads of fun reminiscing the medieval days. There is food, art and dance in the premises where one can either sit back and watch or participate in. The doors of the famous Saint John Church is open for all during the fair.
Location: Lencu iela 1A, Cesis pielsata, Cesis 4101, Latvia
Dates: 5th May 2019
7. Riga Restaurant Week Festival
In order to promote Latvian cuisine and gourmet setting of the country, Riga has come up with an initiative of organising Latvia food festivals that allows visitors and tourists to indulge in some exceptional Baltic food. It is a week-long festival when all the restaurants in Riga serve some delectable 3-course meals to the customers at a food stall price. It is an interesting time to be visiting the country as one gets to taste the best of the gourmet kitchens for a budget-friendly price.
Location: All over Riga.
Dates: 6th-12th May 2019 and 7th-13th October 2019
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8. Staro Riga Light Festival
It is a mega-scale event that happens annually and one has to witness it to believe it. The capital city luminesces in an array of bright lights adorning all the major buildings, towers, bridges and what not. The people of Latvia are then entertained by a series of performances including music, theatre and dance. Food stalls are set up along the waterfront and the major squares where one can enjoy the light show while savouring some delicious food and drinks.
Dates: 15th-18th November 2019
9. Summer Sound
If you love beaches and music festivals then this you’ve landed at the right place! Summer Sound is all about grooving to the beats with waves crashing against the shoreline in the background and certainly amongst the best festivals in latvia 2020. If you fancy a sunset on the beach while you’re dancing to feet-tapping music until dawn on the white sand of Liepaja.
Location: Summer Sound Festival, Liepaja
Dates: 28th July 2020
10. Skaņu Mežs
This is amongst the best latvia festivals 2020 is a treasure trove for music enthusiasts that happens every October. The festival is a platform for music performers, artists, and filmmakers to showcase their talent. Every year, the festival is held at a different location making not easily accessible to the mainstream public.
Location: Riga, Latvia
Dates: To be announced
11. Sigulda Opera Music Festival
Do you fancy a music event against a stunning backdrop of a castle? Get a chance to listen to some of the best opera singers at the International Sigulda Opera Festival. Solo artists usually perform at this festival and showcase their talent in the most beautiful way that will leave you awestruck.
Location: Sigulda district, Sigulda parish, Pils iela 18, Sigulda
Dates: To be announced
12. Song And Dance Festival
The Song and Dance Festival is the most enigmatic latvia festivals 2020 where you’ll be left awestruck by the magnificent work of choral music and folk dance in Latvia. During the festival, the streets and the neighbourhood is swamped by a pool of singers and dancers dressed in Latvian regional costume. You can even purchase souvenirs and certain arts and crafts at the festival.
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Best Time To Visit Latvia
Situated in the Northern Europe one can expect the weather to be cold and damp for half the year. The best time to visit the country and enjoy Latvia music festival is from April to September. October brings about rain and cold which only aggregates in the following months. May and June are the months that hold maximum events and high tourist influx. One can expect temperatures around 18-20℃ in the day during the summers.
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How To Reach Latvia
Since Latvia is a major conjuncture between Europe and the Middle East, it is a well-connected country to travel by road. Most of the major airlines have a direct flight to Istanbul, Belarus or any other major European country from where one has to catch the connecting flight to Riga. One can even travel by bus or train from all the major countries of Europe and Russia. Apart from these routes, people from neighbouring countries.
The Baltic country has managed to impress the world with its admirable history and art nouveau. Apart from strolling the cobbled streets in the Old Town, one can get a slice of the Balkan food and culture in any of the above-mentioned Latvia festivals. Head to Europe to explore Latvia with TravelTriangle and celebrate the art and the architecture of this historical country.
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Frequently Asked Questions
A. A significant part of the modern Latvian lifestyle includes such unique traditions as the summer solstice holiday Jāņi or “Liigo!”, the Latvian Song and Dance Festival, a treasure trove of folk songs (dainas), mythology, traditional dress, and folk dancing.
A. Christmas is an important family celebration for Latvians. Many Latvians attend-Midnight Mass church services,decorate Christmas trees and exchange gifts on Christmas Eve – December 24
A. Christmas is celebrated on 24 December in Latvia.
A. It is home to some beautiful waterfalls in Europe.
A. Latvians do not typically or traditionally celebrate Halloween. Many older Latvians see it as an invasion of American culture and actually shun it.
A. Riga Black Balsam (Latvian: Rīgas Melnais balzams) is a traditional Latvian balsam made with many different natural ingredients.