“Rīga 2014” opening. Live broadcast (archive)

“Rīga 2014” opening. Live broadcast (archive)
Mārtiņš Otto, Rīga 2014
Saturday, 18 January, Riga celebrates its year as the European Capital of Culture opening. The day will begin with different events in the Riga Central Market, followed by the Chain of Booklovers and in the evening, the bank of the river Daugava will be light by the Parade of Light and the Light Spectacular, as well as the World Fire Sculpture Championship. The evening will conclude at “Arena Riga” with the celebration concert “Rīga dimd!” (Riga Resounds).

We conclude our report and would like to thank everyone for the kind words and assistance throughout the day!


20.17 pm – The Head of “Košice 2013” Jan Sudzina passed the baton to the Head of the foundation “Rīga 2014” Diāna Čivle. The year of Riga as the European Capital of Culture has begun.

19.15 – The Light Spectacular at the banks of the river Daugava has concluded, but despite the cold weather, people are still hanging-out in the Old Town and along 11. novembra krastmala (11th November Embankment). The evening will conclude with the concert “Rīga Dimd” (Riga Resounds) at “Arena Riga” – view the real time stream on our website!

18.47 pm – Judges announced that the winners of the World Fire Sculpture Championship are artists from Russia, sculptors Rashid Sagadeev and Tatiana Sagadeeva with their sculpture “Kidnaping Europe”. View images from the World Fire Sculpture Championship at Ķīpsala beach!

See and feel – the year of Riga as the European Capital of Culture has begun!

18.14 pm – The Parade of Light – the spectacular light and fantastic parade of bright images, directed by the German company “HELMNOT”, has already begun at the banks of the river Daugava. In this cold January night is viewed by thousands.

17.57 pm – Head of Foundation “Rīga 2014” Diāna Čivle: “The biggest cause for joy today are the happy faces all around us here, at the events. It is proof that we are united in creating great and wonderful things. This was especially apparent in the Central Market, as the borders between real life, art and dreams disappeared there, proving that there is so much beauty in our everyday lives. The Chain of Booklovers also was a unique and never before seen event – it was possible because of the invincible cooperation and readiness among people. This is also the one thing that truly matters.”

View „Rīga 2014” programme opening events through the eyes of locals, visitors and officials:



17.30 pm – Choir “Voices” are singing in the Meat Pavilion and the opening programme at the Central Market and the Coach Station have almost concluded. The evening will continue on the 11. novembra krastmala (11th November Embankment) with the “Light Spectacular” and the “Parade of Light”.


16:51 pm - The last book has officially and safely entered the Castle of Light and is placed on the shelve! The Chain of Booklovers concludes.

Meanwhile, large crowds of people are moving towards Ķīpsala Beach to witness the World Fire Sculpture Championship that begins at 16.30 pm. The sun set at 16:22.

Artis Žugs has made a great report on today's events - thank's a bunch, ‏@ARTis_Fun !

15.50 pm – The last book in the chain draws great attention – people want to look at it and take pictures with it. See the most colorful images from today’s Chain of Booklovers here and here!

President Andris Bērziņš and other high state officials took part in the chain.


14.08 pm – The last book of the “Path of Light” campaign begins its journey.

13.44 pm – “This is a unique and historic cultural event,” says Gunars Birkerts, the architect of the Castle of Light, in a video greeting via LTV1. He currently resides in the USA, but his family is part of the Chain of Booklovers.


13.29 pm – Accompanied by ovations, the first book has entered the National Library of Latvia. View images from the first hours of the Chain of Book Lovers!

13.24 pm – The first book has almost finished its hour and a half long journey to the Castle of Light.

The Director of the National Library of Latvia Andris Vilks in his speech says: “The National Library of Latvia will never be ready!”

12.55 pm – Books are passed by young and older participants – from small children to the oldest participant, who is 100 years old.

12.11 pm – A grand audience is following the “Path of Light”. Foreign press is reporting on the Chain of Book Lovers. Politicians, artists, families with children and many others have joined the chain. Many of the participants are dressed in folk costumes.

The first book to begin its journey is a bible in Latvian, issued in 1825, in Saint Petersburg. It used to belong to the famous Baltic German family - von Lambsdorffs.

12.00 am – The first book begins its journey from the old library building to the new one – the Castle of Light!

11.30 am – People have started showing up at other Chain of Book Lovers gathering spots. The Police are ready to help-out organizers. Enthusiasm is in the air everywhere. Riga resident Lauris – a participant in the chain – says that this is a unique event to be experienced only once in a lifetime.

11.14 am – Meanwhile, the first participants of the “Path of Light” campaign – Chain of Book Lovers – have started gathering in the city center. University of Latvia Folk dance group “Dandari” encourages chain participants to join them in a warm-up dance next to the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.

11.03 am – In the Meat Pavilion, meat cutters and sellers share life stories. Seller Rūta says that she first had to overcome her fears before working in the Central Market. Seller Iveta from stand 16, offers to taste and presents the receipt for a pork roll.

Meanwhile, at the coach station pianists prepare to play Bach. At 12.00 am, Jautrīte Putniņa will give her performance.

10.42 am – In the Vegetable Pavilion, in special headphones visitors can listen to the “Potato Opera”. Pleasantness is all around and those, who work at the Central Market, say that the work day is different and they like it!

10.14 am – Milk Pavilion resembles a dark cinema as films are screened on the ceiling of the pavilion. Locals say – beware of pickpockets!

10.05 am – Choir “Balsis” (Voices) begins its first song as part of the Meat Song Series by Edgars Raginskis, meat cutter cart parade begins, participants yell – “Coming through, coming through”!

10.00 am – Good morning in European Capital of Culture Riga! We begin the broadcast. The first “Rīga 2014” programme opening events will begin at the Central market. Foreign press has already arrived, trade is in full swing and visitors keep coming!


Comments open for registered users only!