Winter in Latvia
Winter in Latvia
There is nothing like Christmas in Latvia. As the days get shorter and the nights colder, Latvians celebrate the beauty of winter and prepare for one of the biggest celebrations of the year. Latvia at Christmas time should be on everyone's bucket list, along with traditional Latvian dishes such as piragi and caraway-spiced drink.
Latvians take part in a variety of season-specific activities. On December 24th people make a festive wreath to remember Laima, the goddess of fate and destiny. Then on Christmas Eve families gather around the table and feast on seven treats, each intended to bring luck or joy for the coming year. Step by step gifts are opened, torches are lit in churches, doors are open so that visitors cangreet each other with kisses - none of it would be possible without Christmas day in Latvia!
From decorating with evergreen branches and mistletoe to gorgeous church choirs singing carols - Christmas in Latvia is an unforgettable experience! A time to reflect, honor tradition, embrace loved ones and appreciate life's simple pleasures. After all, there's nothing quite like Christmas in Latvia.
Christmas in Latvia is celebrated with a variety of foods that delight the palate. One of the most popular dishes served during this merry season is Grey Peas Kuku, a savory pastry filled with peas, bacon, onions and spices. A traditional dish that can be found on many tables is Jāņu Skābs – sour cabbage soup cooked with smoked meats.
Savory pies made of rye dough and filled with potatoes, eggs, cheese or ham and mushrooms are also likely to be almost as common as mincemeat pies in other nations. Latvians also have their own type of gingerbread cookies called Pirogi and stuffed fruit-filled pastries such as Rubeliņi and Bejas.
If one is looking for a Christmas experience that is truly magical, Riga should be the destination of choice. Placed right between the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, this capital city of Latvia captured the hearts of visitors with its charming cobblestone streets, Art Nouveau architecture, and historic Old Town. During the holiday season this beautiful city shines in all its glory. Sparkling lights line up along narrow alleys as traditional Latvian decorations adorn every corner, from wooden figures to garlands of mistletoe. The snowfall emphasizes the sense of age-old tradition while vibrant choirs sing seasonal songs in different languages. But it doesn’t end here; markets filled with handmade goods and baked treats invite curious travelers to enjoy a taste of local delicacies like knäckebröd or gingerbread biscuits. The best way to wrap up an evening in Riga is with a hot mug of mulled wine shared amongst friends surrounded by twinkling lights for a picture-perfect Christmas experience.
Every year, the old town of Riga is transformed into a winter wonderland during its annual Christmas market. Situated on Dome Square, the market is made up of colorful wooden stalls which offer visitors a variety of traditional Latvian food and handmade crafts - from woolen socks and fancy embroidery to mittens, hats and wood carvings. But what really stands out at Christmas in Riga are the twinkling festive lights and decorations that turn the entire square into a magical setting. As you wander past stalls overflowing with seasonal goodies such as marzipan fruit and jelly babies, a choir can be heard singing carols and classic Christmas songs in perfect harmony. All this music, coupled with an unbeatable atmosphere and dozens of cheerful faces makes the Riga Christmas Market so special; it's truly the perfect way to spend a winter evening!
What to do in Riga
If you want to explore all the culinary treats then a trip to the central market is a must book here for a guided tour.
The house of black heads is one of the most beautiful buildings in Riga – explore the medieval cellars and learn about the legends
Staying in Riga for a little longer head out to the Sigulda and Gauja national parks for the day and explore the natural beaty of this country