Centenary to be marked by oak-planting project

Latvia officially starts its Centenary Celebration on May 4, 2017 with its second 'White Tablecloth Day' and an ambitious plan to plant oak trees.

While certain countries are planning to build walls along their borders, Latvia will instead plant oak trees to mark the one hundred years of its statehood, and watch them grow over the next hundred years, a press conference April 25 was told.

Under the "embrace Latvia" slogan the oak-planting initiative will kick off several years of centenary celebrations on May 4 at Latvia's Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western extremes of Ipiķi, Demene, Nica, and Pasiene. Latvia and the day will come true with the varied and colorful events. At Nica the first centenary oak will be planted Latvia's President and national centenary patron Raimonds Vējonis. 100 oaks will be planted in 45 municipalities near the border.

The actual date of the centenary will be November 18, 2018.

"To experience a national centenary is a unique opportunity, given to our generation to experience. I invite people not to just watch but to get actively involved in it," said Minister of Culture Dace Melbārde. 

On May 4 -- the date of restored statehood, not first independence -- Families, friends and neighbors are invited to get together around a table, to share a jointly prepared meal, and to talk about history and future of their courtyard, neighborhood, city, region and country, and share photos and videos on social media with the hashtag #mans4maijs or #BaltaisGaldauts.

More information is available at the website www.lv100.lv (includes English-language section).

A promotional film has also been produced about White Tablecloth Day.

At the same time, Riga City Council announced its program of events for May 4 which will include a Latvian film marathon, jazz and rock concerts, a fair in Vermanes park in the city center and a fireworks display on the banks of the River Daugava.

Public transport will be free for all throughout Riga on May 4.

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