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Riga takes on a festive mood

By Anatol Steven. 24.11.2011

Riga lights up
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The best place in the Baltics to be merry!

Riga is perhaps the best place in the Baltic region for enjoying the Christmas and New Year holiday season. You needn’t go as far north as Santa Claus’s home inside the Arctic Circle to feel the spirit and warmth of Christmas as you’ll find it right here in the Latvian capital, where Santa is spending the festive season this year. Yes, it’s true! We’ve seen him! And we guarantee you can see him too, here and there, if you come to Riga.
Legend has it (there’s no photographic evidence) that this is the city where the Christmas tree was decorated for the very first time, 500 years ago. This year marks the 501st anniversary of that first Christmas tree, and Riga is offering unforgettable fairs and events in the streets of Old Town as well as festive performances in the churches and concert halls.
All of the events are too numerous to mention, but here are a few of them. For more detailed info in English and other languages, visit the LIVE RIGA website liveriga.com.

CHRISTMAS FAIRS

There’s plenty to enjoy at Riga’s Christmas markets. Spiced wine, roasted almonds, bacon buns, hot tea, coffee and gingerbread – and that’s just the stuff you put in your mouths. Just follow the aroma, and you’ll be led to the city’s key Christmas fairs, which also boast merry-go-rounds, songs and stalls selling handcrafted jewellery, ornaments, woodwork, ceramics, and knitted hats and socks.
Three Christmas fairs can be found, at Dome Square, Līvu Square and Esplanāde Park, running from November 26 to January 8, every day from 10am to 8pm.

Lighting of the Christmas Trees
November 27
In 1510, the Brotherhood of Blackheads placed the first decorated Christmas tree in the square outside the House of the Blackheads. The ritual is repeated at these times:

November 27 at 5pm
Town Hall Square
Lighting of Riga’s Ancient Christmas Tree

November 27 at 6pm
Dome Square
Lighting of the Christmas Tree

November 27 from 3pm to 6pm
Līvu Square
Lighting of the Christmas Tree


“Let’s Decorate Riga’s Ancient Christmas Tree Together!”
November 27 to December 23, every day from 1pm to 7pm
Town Hall Square (Rātslaukums)


Path of Christmas Trees
December 2 to January 15
Use a map to guide you to see 25 trees – traditional and avant-garde – mostly designed by students from the Latvian Academy of Art. Visit the Tourism Information Center on Rātslaukums for more info.


CONCERTS

“European Christmas”
Decmeber 3 to 30
This festival offers classical, contemporary and jazz music throughout December in the city’s churches and concert halls.

Gunārs Kalniņš & GG Gospel Choir
Riga Bourse Art Museum
December 17 at 4pm and 7pm
Popular Christmas melodies, twice during the day.

“Waiting for Christmas”
Ave Sol Concert Hall
December 23 at 7pm

“It’s Christmas Eve”
House of the Blackheads
December 24 at 3pm
Christmas concert by Riga chamber choir “Ave Sol” and the City Jazz Big Band

“May Joy Come Unto Me and You!”
House of the Blackheads
December 25 at 1pm
With the participation of the Riga chamber choir Ave Sol and the City Jazz Big Band

Sacred music concert
Riga Cathedral
December 25 at 7pm
Participants: Elīna Endziņa (marimba), Krišjānis Norvelis, Jānis Bērziņš (bass), Roberts Lapiņš (tenor), Kalvis Kalniņš (bass), Tālivaldis Deksnis (organ)

Riga Christmas Concert
Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre
December 25 at 5pm, December 26 at 1pm
These concerts feature outstanding musicians, beautiful music, popular songs, classical masterpieces and premieres of new compositions.

New Year Gala Concerts
Latvian National Opera
December 28 to December 30
These concerts at the Latvian National Opera are promised to sparkle like champagne. Expect enchanting melodies and stars such as the lauded mezzo-soprano Jeniece Golbourne and bass-baritone Donovan Singletary from the US, the brilliant Latvian bass-baritone Egils Siliņš and other young soloists. Other LNO productions this month include the warming “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (21st), “La Traviata” (22nd) and the ballet “The Sleeping Beauty” (23rd). Check the calendar at opera.lv.

LNSO New Year’s Eve Concert
Great Guild
December 28 to December 30 at 7pm
A “fiery” concert program and “the new sensation of the music world”, an 18-year-old conductor from Venezuela, are on the bill for three evenings.

Taste Riga
Some say that the key to the heart of Riga can be held by anyone who ventures to taste the city’s official special cocktail Clavis Riga, of course containing Riga Black Balsam

SURPRISES FOR KIDS

“The Realm of Lions”
Riga Circus
November 18 to December 16
The Ukrainian circus star and festival winner Vladislav Guncharov and his ten lions are making a stop in Riga on their way from Moscow to the International Monte Carlo Circus Festival. Two of the lions are completely white, apparently.

Christmas Tree’s Birthday Party
Riga Circus
December 23 to January 8
A special seasonal musical and theatrical treat from the Riga Circus tells the story of a Christmas tree celebrating its birthday at the circus. The performance features lions and other exotic beasts, acrobats and clowns and, of course, Santa Claus, the Snow Maiden, singing angels, and dancing snowflakes.

Magic Ice Riga – the Place Where Dreams Meet
Ice Sculpture Park, Bastejkalns Hill
December 21 to January 8, 11am to 11pm

NEW YEAR!
New Year’s fireworks display, concerts and events at the Freedom Monument, broadcast live on TV.
December 31, from 9pm

What to Do in Winter?
If you still haven’t decided what to do in Riga, take a look at the Riga Tourism Development Bureau’s new interactive booklet “What to Do in Riga?” (October-December issue), liveriga.com, under Info Materials. There you’ll find information about the key events in the city, events for children, exhibitions, sports events, cafés, art galleries and more.

Photo by Leons Balodis / TAVA

Free 5.0 V4 Grey Pink Wom 18.05.2015 11:41

Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear
the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it
pinched her ear. She never wants to go

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