Known as 'Lāčplēša diena' or 'Lāčplēsis Day' (Lāčplēsis being the name of Latvia's mythical warrior hero), November 11 coincides with the date upon which the 1918 Armistice at the end of the First World War is commemorated in many other countries. However, the Latvian events are subtly different, officially marking the day a year later in 1919 when a crucial victory against joint German and White Russian forces under Count Pavel Bermondt-Avalov was won by the fledgling republic of Latvia, which had declared independence a year earlier.
You can read more about Lāčplēsis Day on our dedicated story from last year.
Lāčplēsis Day outside Rīga
In most cities and towns of Latvia, some form of remembrance events are taking place on Saturday. In the bigger cities, there will be a torch walk preceded and/or followed by a commemoration candle-placing, speeches, or concerts.
The start times and locations of the torch walks and gatherings in some cities are as follows:
- Valmiera: 18:00 from the City Hall Square to the central cemetery;
- Daugavpils: 17:00 from Daugavpils University to Vienības Square;
- Rēzekne: the public is invited to come to the monument "Vienoti Latvijai" (Atbrīvošanas Aleja 93) to place candles and gather around the fire from 17:00 to 21:00;
- Ventspils: torch walk begins 16:30 from the Esplanade to Meža Cemetery;
- Jūrmala: 17:30 from Jūrmala State Gymnasium on Raiņa Street 39A;
- Liepāja: 17:30 from Jāņa Čakstes Square to Ziemeļu Cemetery;
- Cēsis: 17:30 from Skolnieku Rota monument (between Palasta and Bērzaines Street) to Lejas Cemetery.
- Sigulda: the public is invited to gather around the Sigulda Castle square with candles, fires, and light installations 18:00 to 21:00. Torch walks will take place in nearby Allaži, More, Inčukalns, and Mālpils.
Lāčplēsis Day in Rīga
Rīga, as usual, has announced an extensive festive and commemorative Lāčplēsis Day event program, centered around the torch walk from Brāļu Cemetery to the Freedom Monument starting at 16:00 and concerts in many districts. We have summarized the festive program on our other story.
Patriotic film festival online
The National Film Center (NKC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has prepared a Patriot Week online film festival – a selection of films that will be available free of charge from November 11 at any time and anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection.
The festival program includes brand new Latvian films, cinema classics, films from the Centenary, documentary cinema, and animation; the films will be available to viewers on filmas.lv from November 11 to November 19.