Latvia Weekend Events: Latvian Himalayas

"Hey, hello, Āgenskalns, Bastejkalns, Čiekurkalns!" goes one popular song relating the various 'mountains' (Latvian - kalns) of the country. Calling 200-meter hills 'mountains' seems like wishful thinking to many foreigners, however just as people generally love things there is very little of - like gold, or Latvia - so are Latvians very keen on using the precious skiing and snowboarding opportunities during the winter - and you are very much invited to join.

1. Fans by the screens and on the hills

Latvian Television will be broadcasting a number of winter sports events on LTV7, including bobsleigh and skeleton World Cup stages. However the main local event of course will be broadcast from Sigulda where a Luge World Cup stage takes place on Friday and Saturday.

Those who wish to repeat - though perhaps with a more modest speed - the escapades seen on TV would probably like visiting the nearest winter resorts/ski tracks: KaķīškalnsSigulda city trackKordes hillReiņa track.

2. Cēsis Chillin'

While many will spend a good part of the year Netflix Chillin' now that the service is available in Latvia, people who like bad music - allegedly bad music - will flock to Cēsis where the seventh yearly 'Bad Quality Music Night' takes place.

Bands like Damaged Boiz, Vīriem vajag atpūtu, Pisang Ambon, Tranzīts and Kabanos are to perform on the evening of January 9 at Fono club.

On January 10 at 12 noon sweet voices will set right the carnage and moral damage of previous night, with the Rīga Dome girls' choir Tiara and cartoon heroes performing in a children's staging 'I want to be a little mischievous'. 

And if you're there for the weekend, nearby Žagarkalns and Ozolkalns offer heaps of winter fun.

3. Follow that choir!

If you have trouble planning a trip route for the weekend, you can follow the tracks of the Pravoslavniye Pevchiye Muscovite men's choir.

Its route has already started on January 8 at the Gors concert hall in Latgale, on January 9 it will move on to Krustpils culture hall at 4 PM and will finish its weekend mazurka trail on January 10, 7 PM at the Riga Dome.

There are many mountains-hills on the trail, such as Our Humble Everest Gaiziņkalns, the hills by Gaiziņkalns or Riekstukalns by Rīga. 

4. There is a place they call...

There is a town in Latvia which is bursting with activity but the rest of Latvia doesn't seem to know or want to know about it.

The Jaunrade hall at that town on January 10 at 2 PM will host the Slavic Spiritual Music Festival for the 15th consecutive time. It's Ventspils of course, where the Slavyane choir conducted by Ilga Buntika asks their friends to join a collective prayer expressed in choir music.

The festival features St. Nicholas' Orthodox Church choir, the choirs Kaiva, Cntabile, Liba, Windau, Confetti and others.

And if you do go there, visit the mayor's hat - the largest hat in Latvia - it turns out, one you can even ski on. 

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