Christmas in Riga happens twice, along with many other important celebrations.
The most common question I get asked here in Latvia is ‘Why? Why do you live in Latvia?’ My answer changes from time to time, but one reason I like to give is that everything in Latvia happens twice. Here you can have two Christmases and two Easters, as well as two independence days, and even two birthdays!
Whilst many Latvian citizens celebrate Christmas on the 24th and 25th of December, Orthodox believers celebrate 2 weeks later, on the 6th and 7th of January. Often both Easters also fall two weeks apart. As for the birthdays, well, you don’t exactly get 2, but you do get to celebrate both the day of your birth, and also a name’s day. Each day of the calendar has a few names, and on that day, those people celebrate. Unless you were unlucky enough to be born on your name’s day, that’s double the celebration.
So we here at Eat Riga Tours would like to wish all Orthodox Christians, Latvian or otherwise, a Merry Christmas and we hope to see you this year on one of our walking, biking tours or on some other outdoor activities. How do you say Merry Christmas in Latvian? ‘Priecīgus ziemassvētkus’ of course.