Every year on November 11 is celebrated Lāčplēša Day. After World war I Latvia was still fighting for its independence. There were going on serious fights in Riga at beginning of November 1919 between Latvian riflemen and West Russian Volunteer Army led by general Pavel Bermont-Avalov. On morning of November 11 1919 Latvia was celebrating victory city was released. November 11 is commemorative day when Latvian riflemen who helped country to become independent are honored. Check our previous post on Lāčplēša Day, there is great InfoGraphic to find out more about this period in history.
Name Lāčplēša Day comes from the story of Lāčplešis (Bear Slayer), the Latvian folk hero. It is epos written by Andrejs Pumpurs and stories are inspired by Latvian folk tales.
Locals are placing hundreds of candles in front of Riga Castle and street along it is called after these events- November 11 Embankment.
Lāčplēša Order is highest award for Latvian army, riflemen and foreigners who frighted in and helped Latvia to become independent.
Video below is from Lāčplēša Day in 1922. In Esplanāde park solders are receiving Lāčplēša Order, mother of fallen solder is receiving it. There can be seen politicians of that time and presidents Jānis Čakste speech, military parade in Esplanāde park which at that time was big empty sandy square.
Video is from Latvia State Archive of Audiovisual Documents collection.