Latvia celebrates 105 years as an independent state

On Saturday, November 18, Latvia celebrates the 105th anniversary of the country's independence, with numerous events taking place throughout the country. Many of these are being shown live on Latvian Television (LTV) and on LSM.

In Rīga, the celebrations started Friday evening with a reception held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while in Liepāja an orchestral concert marked the occasion (which you can watch below).


At the reception, Foreign Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said: "On 18 November, we will mark Latvia’s 105th birthday. As we celebrate the anniversary of our state, let us remember that freedom and democracy are not heaven-sent. God gives the chance – people must take up that opportunity. That is what our ancestors did, and that is what we must keep doing. We will make every effort and stand up steadfastly for the freedom, democracy and independence of our country into the future."

Saturday morning at 09:00 there was an ecumenical service at the Dome Cathedral, in which the leaders of the largest Christian denominations participated. 

Later the traditional solemn flower-laying ceremony at the Freedom Monument took place. Flowers were laid down by senior officials of state, but many ordinary Latvian citizens are also taking the opportunity to mark their freedom in this attractive manner by placing flowers of their own.

At 12:00 a special meeting of the Saeima was held in which senior officials as well as representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps participated.

On the 11. Novembra Krastmala embankment beside the River Daugava, the traditional military parade of National Armed Forces, Interior Ministry units and foreign units takes place at 13:30, which you can watch live on LTV and LSM.

The evening will be marked by concerts across the country, and the address of the President of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, which will be his first independence day address and is therefore sure to attract a great deal of scrutiny. 

Foreign Ministry reception marking Latvia's independence day
Foreign Ministry reception marking Latvia's independence day

Significant traffic restrictions are in place. Traffic is closed on 11. Novembra Krastmala.  Public transport and most parking lots operated by 'Rīgas Satiksme' will be free of charge.

This year, the Rīga municipality has refrained from a grandiose firework display on November 18, though the cities of Ogre and Ventspils will be holding pyrotechnic displays.

All of us here at LSM wish you a very enjoyable and inspiring day wherever you are celebrating. Dievs, svētī Latviju!


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