Latvia weekend events: Fall starts with a flurry

Autumn has many other offerings besides being the harvest season. The long evenings are high-time for various rituals, while works of art look particularly fragile and revealing in the pale daylight (and moonlight too). This weekend's event guide will help you get the best of both worlds, plus something more in between.

1. Open up to the night in Liepāja

On Saturday, September 26, the streets, houses and yards of the beautiful and spooky port city of Liepāja will be overtaken by 'Acts in the Night' (Akti naktī) - a contemporary art festival with a total of more than 20 projects of video installations, modern dance, music, poetry, theater and much more.

The Acts in the Night will feature about 150 artists from Latvia, and French artists will show off the fruits of their collaboration with local authors. Artists such as Adriana Roze, Varis Klausītājs, and others will be present to present their newest inventions.

Modern dance shows and performances will be lead by Olga Žitluhina together with students and alumni of the Latvian Culture Academy, while acts like MNTHA, the Presence of Jānis Ruņģis, Sabīne Moore and others will take care about the musical side of the evening.

Info about the night, the performances and artists, presented in glorious Anglo-Saxon.

2. Lots and lots of watercolors; egotistic beauty

While the capital had its own night run with the White Night, the city of Rīga has now taken up the cause of art, opening a number of doors where you can familiarize yourself with what's what in Latvian art.

A huge watercolor exhibition encompassing Latvian works from the early 19th century up until present day has opened September 25 at the Arsenāls gallery

Organizers say a watercolor exhibition of such magnitude will be held for the first time in the history of the Latvian National Museum of Art, and we're inclined to believe them.

On Saturday and Sunday, the exhibition opens at 12 PM and closes at 5 PM. 

While the smaller - but arguably much more cozier - XO Art Gallery will host an exhibition of 27 self-portraits of 27 contemporary Latvian artists – each of them created in their own unique way and with different mediums – painting, drawing, graphic techniques, sculpture and video. It's open on Saturday from 12 PM to 6 PM.

3. There is a light that never goes out

And it is, of course, the light borne by the torchbearer of humanity - science!

On Friday, 25 September, the annual Researchers’ Night will be held in eight Latvian towns – Rīga, Salaspils, Jelgava, Daugavpils, Rēzekne, Valmiera, Liepāja and Ventspils.

This year, the topic is simply 'light', but don't be deceived by the simplicity as there's a lot to it: the medically minded of you will enjoy the offer of Rīga Stradins’ University, which will show visitors how light helps to work with bacteria, while the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre will enlighten visitors about the basics of Genome data.

Riga Technical University will offer visitors a plunge into the technocratic world of man-made robots, while the National Botanical Garden and LU Botanical Garden will showcase laboratories and science shows. 

Here's a map (Latvian) of the events, but don't sweat it and go wherever you want as all but everyone speaks English in Rīga.

4. Movies that move

While those who prefer moving pictures to watercolors will feel at home at the 2ANNAS movie festival that's taking place from September 22 to September 27 - yes, you can still make it!

Screenings of European Film Award nominees look particularly interesting and take place at the Kino Bize movie theater on September 26 at 8 PM and 10 PM, while seven short films that relate the struggles between Man and Religion will be screened at Kaņepes Kultūras Centrs on September 27 at 6 PM

While the six winning movies of the 2ANNAS festival will be showcased on September 27 at 6 PM at the K. Suns theater - the winners will be announced late on September 26 so it's a pretty surprise.

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