Night of the Ancient Bonfires in Latvia

Night of the Ancient Bonfires in Latvia
27-08-2012 A+ A-
On the last Saturday of August – August 25 – the Night of the Ancient Bonfires was celebrated in honour of the sea and bidding farewell to the summer. Coastal municipalities had planned a number of events in which bonfires were complemented by performances of song, dance, and light. By the bonfires, everyone was invited to express their promises to the sea, read poetry, sing, take part in traditional games or simply watch the fire and the sea.

Riga is one of the few capital cities in the world that is by the sea, and this is one of the city’s greatest assets. In Riga, the Night of the Ancient Bonfires was celebrated on Vakarbuļļi beach. The atmospheric evening happened with the help of musicians from the Nature Concerthall (Dabas koncertzāle), Rūta and Valdis Muktupāvels. To help the guests become more knowledgeable and aware of the Baltic Sea, hydrobiologists were present on the Vakarbuļļi beach, offering aquariums in which to observe the sea’s inhabitants, and listen to the heartbeat of a snail.

The Night of the Ancient Bonfires is becoming more popular around the Baltic sea every year, and the coastal communities of Latvia are also becoming more involved. In ancient times, bonfires were burned on the coast to warn of dangers. Over the past 20 years, the Night of the Ancient Bonfires has been celebrated along the coast of Finland, as well as Estonia, and spread to other countries around the Baltic Sea. In Latvia, this event has been marked for over a decade in Roja and Pāvilosta.

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