How much does Xmas spirit cost in Latvia?

Christmas is fast approaching, and many are buying gifts and tidying up homes for the festivities. In municipalities, spruce trees have already been lit and different decorations have been installed. The funding allocated to decoration in the regions ranges from a few thousand euros to up to 150 thousand euros, regional television ReTV reports.


Nine Christmas trees have been installed in Ventspils, and one of them – the city's main tree in Great Square – was replaced even within a week, because residents did not like it.

The city began preparing even before the independence day on November 18, installing strings of lights. This year, the strings have a combined length of more than 38 kilometers, comprising a total of 3,200 light bulbs. The municipality has planned EUR 72,600 for the Christmas design.

As with the national holiday, there will be fireworks in Ventspils in the New Year, starting 33 minutes after midnight after Ventspils time.


Bauska residents have an artificial tree in the center, made up of many small trees and accompanied by reindeer with sleighs. Residents meeting in Town Hall Square are happy to photograph children on the reindeer's sleigh, however, the festive approach is not felt elsewhere in the city.

This year, Christmas decorations of the city of Bauska have cost €20,000 without VAT. There are heated discussions on social networks about decorating Bauska.

Aivars Okmanis, chairman of the Bauska municipality Council, rejects the criticism: “Well, it's no like thatt. There are many places, not just Town Hall. At least three places have objects to photograph and enjoy the festive mood. By Rimi Square, by the city administration and council buildings, and objects will still change by Christmas. [..]. Every city has its own. Of course, we would love to listen to the wishes of the people, which they would then want, but I also call on the people and businesses to decorate their homes and buildings so that we have a common sense of it.”


The municipality of Dobele has set aside more funds for the festivities. Across the municipality, a total of 12 fir trees will create a festive feel. Like in Bauska, Dobele's main spruce is made up of 42 smaller trees. It is about 16 metres high. 

With light decorations on lampposts and trees and other decorations, the total cost is €65,000. Liene Laurinoviča, Dobele Municipality environmental designer, says that as the area of the municipality increases, this amount has become larger and, to be more economical, existing decorations are used as far as possible.

'We also have our electricians in the local government and other parishes, they review these old decorations, they improve, if possible, those already in place so residents are happier. In order not to have the same objects all the time, we buy something and build it up. Nor is it that all the time those objects are used in one place, we rotate them around the county,” explains Laurinovich.

Every parish itself thinks of the mood, and local businesses are also addressed to help create the festivities.


Tukums says that four years ago a common concept for decorating the city was created by a design firm, which also worked in Ogre and Rīga, and the city is trying to stick to it. This year, not one but three smaller trees have been decorated in Liberty Square.

In Tukums, €44,000 has been spent creating the mood. Decorations in Tukums are also on other streets of the city, including at the two roundabouts.

Like in the municipality of Bauska, in the municipality of Tukums, parish authorities have to devote their budgets to decorating.


Unlike the surrounding areas, a very different budget to prepare for the festivities is in Jelgava. This year, 150 thousand euros have been allocated to all ornaments.

Jelgava Urban Management PR specialist Līga Brūvere says the budget is the same as last year:

"This amount includes the purchase, installation, decoration, and then removal of the fir tree. Dismantling also costs money."

Festive decorations have been installed in a total of 16 locations. Most are in the central part of the city, but also in residential neighborhoods. Some of the decors are from previous years, but there are several places where they are new.

Several spruce trees are decorated in Jelgava, but the main central tree is made up of 35 smaller spruce trees and the height of the spruce is 18 meters.

There will be no fireworks in Jelgava on the New Year, not only because of the geopolitical situation but also because of environmental factors. 

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