Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia

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AKA NameLatvian Independence Day, Latvia's National Day, the Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia Day, Latvijas Republikas proklamēšanas diena
HashtagsCompiled on#RepublicDayOfLatvia
2023 Date18 November 2023
2024 Date18 November 2024

Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia

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The Observance of Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia commemorates the country's declaration of independence from Russia in 1918. This observance serves to recognize the struggles and sacrifices made by the Latvian people throughout history to attain and maintain their sovereignty, and celebrates their resilient identity and national pride. The occasion also aims to fortify the sense of unity and solidarity among its citizens.

Before attaining its independence, Latvia experienced a tumultuous history marked by foreign occupation and oppression, including the Soviet era when the country was under communist rule. When Latvia finally restored its independence in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it began integrating itself into the global community, culminating in its accession to the European Union in 2004. The Observance of Proclamation serves as a potent reminder of the union's dedication to political freedom, democratic governance, and social justice in all its member countries.

Celebrations of the day include cultural events, such as concerts, art exhibitions or lectures, speeches by Latvian officials, and gatherings and parties hosted by Latvian expatriate groups. The Observance of Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia takes place annually on November 18th, irrespective of the geographical location of the celebrations.

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Top facts about Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia

  • In 1939, Nazi Germany and the USSR signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which divided Eastern Europe between them. The Baltics, including Latvia, were assigned to the USSR and subsequently occupied by the Soviet Army in 1940.
  • The first few months of independence were very difficult as German forces remained, Russian Bolshevik forces appeared and Latvia had no army of its own.
  • The proclamation took place in the Riga Theatre where a red and white flag was chosen along with the national anthem.
  • From 1940 until 1991, independence was once again lost but to the Soviet Union.
  • I am rich, I own everything that has happened to me - Maris Caklais, Latvian poet

Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia Top Events and Things to Do

  • Indulge in traditional Latvian foods such as Piragi (bacon rolls), beat soup (auksta zupa), kartupeli ar silki un biezpienu (herring with cottage cheese and potatoes) and kartupelu pankukas (potato pancakes).
  • Generate awareness on social media for the day by posting pictures of you and your friends wearing your Latvian colours with the hashtags #latvian, #independencelatvia and #RepublicDayLatvia.
  • Attend the military parade in Riga. High-ranking politicians and military men are usually in attendance. There is also an air show and troops from Latvia and other allied countries participate.
  • Enjoy the Festival of Light Staro Riga which is held over 4 days through Independence Day. The Festival starts in the evening and features a myriad of entertainment.
  • Enjoy the Latvian Independence Day dance show at Kipsala Hall in Riga. Tickets are available online.

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