Ligo and Summer Solstice Festival

The Summer Solstice celebration can be deemed the most Latvian holiday, marked according to pagan traditions. The festival bears the names Līgo! and Jāņi.

Līgo! and Jāņi are a somewhat mystic event, as, according to ancient traditions, you have to search for the legendary fern blossom, wash your face in the grass's morning dew, and gather herbal plants, which are said to have a special power midsummer. Summer Solstice or the Jāņi celebration dates back centuries when Europeans actively practiced the cult of the Sun.

Bonfires and other rituals were not only part of annual traditional celebrations, but also manifested the unity of cosmic and earth order. Jāņi is the celebration of the longest day and shortest night of the year. Besides, Jāņi is also closely related to the countryside - everybody tries to at least to spend that day/night outside a residential area, drink beer and search for the fern blossom. Cities and their life have brought their own options into Jāņi celebrations and created some new traditions, for example, special events in city centres.

People are invited to cheerfully celebrate Līgo! in all Latvia's regions and towns, by warming themselves around bonfires, playing games, and observing traditional rituals and other activities until sunrise. This night becomes memorable when celebrated together with Latvian folk groups and musicians any place in Latvia.

Riga 23.06.2023
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