UK Latvians organize countryside New Year's Eve bash

For the second year in a row the new Daugavas Vanagi organization members organized a New Year's Eve party for the Latvian diaspora at the organization's manor house Straumēni in the Leicestershire countryside, according to the Latvian Television news broadcast on January 1.

Tickets were sold out already in advance, with the event gathering more than 200 party-goers. “A lot of interest was generated by the fact that this year it was a masked ball, which in my opinion is a bit different than simply putting on a dress,” said event organizer Zane Jansone.

“It's the feeling of togetherness with everyone. Cheerful, lovely celebration,” said attendee Ieva Pētermane.

For one lucky party-goer the event fell right on her birthday, which was also celebrated during the evening. The party also was attended by around 40 children, who had their own room with various forms of entertainment. There was also a tent where attendees could have their hand at the tradition of melting tin figurines and pouring them into cold water, afterwards interpreting the cooled metal figure to determine their luck for the year.

“Last year we had all sorts of dragons. There weren't any pigs or rabbits. This year we're hoping for mice,” said Mārcis Jansons, who supervised the pouring.

The group “Mazie rakari'' played Latvian songs throughout the night, and the most popular song was “Nāk nakts”, which translates to “The Night Comes”. At 10:00 UK time everyone listened to the President's and Prime Minister's Speeches and sang the Latvian anthem when it struck midnight in Latvia. Attendees greeted the UK New Year by watching fireworks.

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Latvians abroad
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