Jāņi festival celebrated by Latvians worldwide

From the neighboring countries of Lithuania and Estonia to far-flung Thailand and South Korea, this year Latvian communities around the world  will celebrate Jāņi (Midsummer) in at least 50 events in 21 countries, according to information collected by diaspora media Latviesi.com.

The summer solstice (June 21) has already been marked in many places, for example in Greece, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and also in the neighboring countries of Estonia and Lithuania, as well as in some places in Germany, but it is still being prepared in Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, France, Thailand, Georgia and other places.

Jāņi is celebrated in Thailand, where compatriots will gather in Bangkok to twist wreaths together and get to know each other; in the capital of South Korea, Seoul, where Latvians will gather together with Estonians at the embassy. Also in Australia, Latvians from Darwin will celebrate Jāņi, or "Jaanipäev" in Estonian, together with the Estonian Society of Australia, lighting a bonfire together, introducing each other to folklore, traditional foods and dances. 

Several gatherings have already taken place and are still planned in the USA and Canada. Wide celebrations are planned in Georgia. On June 23, Tbilisi will be visited by the famous Suitu Women ensemble, a joint trip to Gori and bonfire until sunrise, and a musical excursion is planned for Midsummer's Day.

Solstice celebrations are planned until dawn at the Latvian center "Bērzaine" in Freiburg, Germany. The Latvian spirit will be maintained by the Jaunjelgava folklore ensemble, while the Jāņu cheese and Latvian bread will eb provided.

Meanwhile in Great Britain there will be a Latvian music festival with well-known performers including "Singapore satin", "Musiqq", "Bermudu divstūris", Olga Rajecka, and Normunds Rutulis. In addition to the rich music repertoire, visitors will have the opportunity to visit a craft market, the "MissionLatvia" promotional tent organized by LIAA , open-air cinema screenings of Latvian films and enjoy delicacies from Latvia over three days.

Dancers and a proper 'green ball' will also be in Ireland, where a large Latvian diaspora lives. In Tipperary on June 24 and 25, you will be able to enjoy both folk dances and listen to the Irish Latvian choir "eLVe", there will also be a market and attractions for children.

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