Three for the weekend: Ice, Meteņi, Alternative Music

The first weekend of February comes with both reminders that we're still in the middle of winter and that there is hope for spring. Here are a few suggestions on how to spend this weekend.

Ice Ice Jelgava

From February 2 to 4, the 25th International Ice Sculpture Festival takes place in the city of Jelgava. Each year the festival brings grand displays and shows, not only the ice artwork itself but also concerts, light shows, ice baths, games, and more. 

This year, 32 professional sculptors from 11 countries – Indonesia, Mongolia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Lithuania, Argentina, Estonia, Latvia, and Spain – will participate. As part of the festival, 45 contest sculptures will be created, while a total of more than 60 ice objects will be on display.

The festival takes place on Jānis Čakste Boulevard and on Pasta Island in Jelgava. 

More about the festival on its official website.

Meteņi at Kalnciema Square

Meteņi or Metenis is a Latvian ethnic spring-waiting festival which used to be celebrated on February 6 and some sources suggest it marked the new year for Latvians, whereas now it is celebrated seven weeks before Easter. Meteņi celebration involves masking, eating, and traditional games.

On February 3, the Kalnciema Square (Kalnciema Street 35) in Āgenskalns, Rīga, will offer a semi-traditional celebration at 10:00–16:00. The organizers promise masks, games and music led by a folklore group, as well as food and crafts offered by local producers. Entrance is free.

Rahu The Fool

If you are looking for a smaller-scale event to spend your Saturday evening, the musical band Rahu The Fool is playing a free concert at the cultural space Northern Grip (Krišjāņa Barona Street 44).

Rahu The Fool is "a band inspired by grandfathers' stories about love and war, seas and meadows, and things long-forgotten", says the band's description. It promises to play a myriad of genres, using their voices, bass, guitar, saxophone, violin, and other instruments.

The event begins and 20:00 on February 3. Entrance is free.

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