Spring solstice and Easter celebrations in Latvia

Easter in Latvia is celebrated twice as much as anywhere else – one is celebrated during the traditional spring solstice at the end of March, as well as according to Christian traditions in April.

Honoring the pre-Christian era traditions, folk-lore groups throughout the country come together to celebrate the spring solstice – which falls on either March 21 or 22, but usually celebrated during the nearest weekend. Spring solstice celebrations are traditionally held at the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, the Turaida Castle Complex, and in many other places throughout the country, where pagan songs, traditions, and rituals are carried out in a merry atmosphere to greet the spring and the arrival of the sun.

The Ethnographic Open-Air Museum will hold its annual pagan spring solstice celebrations on March 23, where various folk-lore groups will perform, and guests will be able to dance a sing in one of the first warmer and sunnier days of the year.

Various events take place throughout the country during Christian Easter, which falls between April 19 to 21 this year, where people celebrate both Latvia’s Christian and pagan traditions. Traditional Easter fairs are also operating during Eastertime, where persons can purchase a wide variety of crafts from local craftsmen, as well as taste traditional Latvian food that is usually served during Easter.

Honoring the resurrection of Jesus, church services throughout the country will take place during Easter, as well as many special concerts. A special Easter service is held at the Usma Lutheran Church each year, which was built in the 18th century.

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