Night of the Ancient Bonfires

Night of the Ancient Bonfires
28-08-2011 A+ A-
The 2011 European Capitals of Culture, Finland’s Turku and Estonia’s Tallinn, in cooperation with the Rīga 2014 Foundation, invited everyone living along the coast of the Baltic Sea to take part in the “Night of the Ancient Bonfires” on 27 August at 21:30. This bonfire event is a dedication to the Baltic Sea and is organised by the Rīga 2014 Foundation, which is responsible for organising the 2014 European Capital of Culture year.

The Night of the Ancient Bonfires, which is growing in popularity with each year, was this year dedicated to the preservation and the future of the Baltic Sea environment. Bonfires lit along the coastline symbolise the pledge to care for the sea, uniting people, cities and countries, for the quality of the environment, for the preservation of resources for our own and future generations. The Baltic Sea is one of the least saline seas in the world and its ecosystem is very fragile. Therefore, any human-made impact, whether positive or negative, has a great effect on its future.

More than forty bonfires were lit along the coastline of Latvia. A large night time ancient bonfire event took place in Riga, on Vakarbuļļi beach, with roughly 250 participants. Professor Valdis Segliņš gave a talk to visitors about the sea and took questions, while the fire ritual was taken care of by the folklore band, Skandinieki.

A total of more than 600 bonfires were lit in Latvia and neighbouring countries, marking the pledge by the inhabitants of the region to take care of the Baltic Sea. Approximately 34,000 participants took part in the event.

Video of ancient bonfire night event in Riga, on Vakarbuļļi beach.

More photos here.

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