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Latvian Saeima announces public holiday on Monday

In an extraordinary session on Sunday evening, the Saeima decided to declare Monday, May 29, 2023, the Day of the Bronze Medal Win in honor of the high achievement of the Latvian men's hockey team.

52 members voted in favor, no one voted against, but three members abstained.

School exams will not be canceled.

The bill's annotation states: "Since the restoration of Latvia's independence, hockey has been one of the most popular and supported sports. The participation of Latvian ice hockey professionals in various sports competitions is always an event in Latvian society. It is therefore our duty to strengthen the fact of the important success of Latvian athletes at the 2023 World Hockey Championships in the social memory of society."

"Celebrating the success of the Latvian hockey team could help everyone to strive for excellence in their work, in their skills. The joint celebration of this day would strengthen the national self-confidence and unity of Latvian society,” said the amendment to the adopted draft law.

One of the reasons why it is decided to announce a holiday was indicated as the need to allow residents of the regions to welcome the Latvian hockey team in Rīga.

The extraordinary Saeima session that voted the holiday into law managed to pass the relevant bill in two readings between 23:45 and 23:56 – leaving just four minutes to tell everyone about their decision before the holiday started at midnight. 

However, the late-night announcement of the holiday was set to cause a good deal of head-scratching among employers and employees alike when they woke up Monday morning and some confusion about what's open, what's not, and whether people will be paid if they turn up for work. Students sitting exams Monday will still sit them but other students and pupils have the day off. 

Latvian ice hockey players will return from the world championship on Monday, May 29, at noon with a flight from Tampere, but fans are encouraged not to go to the airport because the team has a special honoring event at the Freedom Monument, said the Latvian Hockey Federation.

At the airport, the team is scheduled to meet with journalists, and immediately afterward the hockey players will go meet at the Freedom Monument. The event at the Freedom Monument will start at around 13.

You will also be able to watch the welcome on a live broadcast on LTV1. 

According to the municipal public transport company Rīgas Satiksme, buses will run on a workday schedule but municipal parking is free. The scheduled school exams will still take place, and several hospitals – Rīga Stradiņš University Hospital, the Children's Hospital, "Veselības centrs 4", "Rīgas veselības centrs", RSU Stomatology Center, and the State Blood Donor Center – have also announced they will work as usual. 

Court hearings have been canceled, and the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs will be closed.

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