St Martin’s day celebration in Latvia
Almost in all of antiquity, and in all cultures, people have organized their lives according to the laws of nature. The passage of time and the succession of the seasons are behind of a lot of the dates, parties and events that take place in urban cities and rural areas today.
The next celebration in Latvia will be St. Martin’s Day on Nov. 10. This event has changed its ways of celebrating over time, but luckily, it didn’t disappear. In fact, Latvians still celebrate this date all around the country. The reason to convert this date, between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, into a sort of popular party is to mark the beginning of winter in the calendar. All rural works should be finished and the crops harvested by Martins’ Day, just before the start of the long Latvian winter and the ‘indoor’ activities.
On Nov. 6 the Ethnographic Open Air Museum has planned different events and will perform recreational festivities for children and adults between noon and 5 p.m. Various folk bands, such as Rija, Saulgriezi and Milzkalnieki and a Martini choir will be performing. Also, the museum will see people dressed up in various masks to symbolically bring luck, wealth, fertility and harmony. The participants play folk games, dance, and sing to ward off evil spirits. This is the time of the season when all harvesting is finished, and farmhands can make merry.
Entrance fee is 1.50 lats (2.13 euros), 1 lats for students and 0.50 lats for schoolchildren and seniors. For group handicaps and children under school age, entrance is free of charge.