Thousands celebrate Midsummer in Latvia

Latvia's traditional midsummer celebrations proved as popular as ever on the night of June 23 to 24, with generally benign weather conditions and centenary enthusiasm prompting hundreds of thousands to sing songs, eat cheese, drink beer and jump over bonfires - not necessarily in that order.

Rīga city council estimated that more than 100,000 people had taken part in midsummer events laid on in the Latvian capital, while social media recorded many thousands more taking to the fields and forests for the most important date on the Latvian calendar.

There were also reports that several people had discovered the elusive fern flower during their nocturnal revels, though evidence in support of these claims is unlikely to be provided for many months. 

However, with rain falling across large parts of the country on Sunday, people are advised to drive home with care and in particular to make sure they are sober before doing so. Police will be enforcing an enhanced stop and check regime, and motorists should expect to be breathalyzed on many roads.

By Sunday morning police said they had already caught 10 drink drivers and 4 drivers under the influence of drugs, and had issued 185 tickets for speeding.

 

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