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CHRISTMAS 24- 26 DECEMBER The winter solstice (Christmas) is celebrated when the night is the longest and the day the shortest. During Christmas rooms.

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Presentation on theme: "CHRISTMAS 24- 26 DECEMBER The winter solstice (Christmas) is celebrated when the night is the longest and the day the shortest. During Christmas rooms."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHRISTMAS DECEMBER The winter solstice (Christmas) is celebrated when the night is the longest and the day the shortest. During Christmas rooms are decorated with three-dimensional straw or reed ornaments and Christmas tree – with candles. The best known Christmas tradition is mumming. The mummers are costumed and with different masks. The most common traditional masks are bears, horses, cranes, goats, tall women, small men and death. Another characteristic Christmas tradition is dragging the Yule log. This is explained as the symbolic collecting and burning of last year's problems and misfortunes. Traditional Christmas food is boiled pig's head, peas, beans, barley sausage and bacon rolls. In our time Latvians bake gingerbread cookies, too.

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3 NEW YEAR’S EVE Latvian New Year's Eve and New Year celebration are associated with different traditions. All people celebrate this event but everyone has also his own the New Year welcoming traditions. In the evening people use different symbols denoting wealth, fortune, love and harmony in the family. Nowadays every family will observe a tradition of welcoming New Year; some are inherited from ancestors, some entered more recently, but others we are creating ourselves. Christmas tree decoration has been changed for years. Apples and nuts have been replaced by glass balls, but instead of candles we often have electric lights. But the hope, that the next year will be better and more successful, stays unchanged. The most famous and enjoyable tradition is giving presents. A typical New Year's dish is fish, which scales we put in our purses and we believe that it brings us money next year. A nother common tradition is Budel or stilts walking, when people put on different masks and go to neighbours. (like on Halloween)

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5 TWELFTH DAY ( 6 JANUARY) Twelfth Day is celebrated in Latvia on 6 January. On this day Christmas time finishes that was continuing form Christmas Eve (24 December) till Twelfth Day (6 January). It is 12 days and 12 nights. The Twelfth Day is one of the oldest church festivities. Star Day is called also the Day of Three Kings, also Epiphany. All the titles have the same contents – we remember the Star of Bethlehem that was shining when Jesus’ Child was born. The tree clever kings from the East are symbol of life in reality: never stay where you are – on place, go forward, towards unknown and difficulties. A lot of attention on Twelfth Day is paid to protection against evil forces – evil spirit on demons.

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7 COMMEMORATION DAY OF DEFENDERS OF THE BARRICADES IN 1991 (20 JANUARY) Commemoration Day of Defenders of the Barricades is celebrated on 20 January. This is a very important day in Latvian history. This date reminds of events in the year 1991 in Riga. The military campaigns began in Lithuania at night from 12 to 13 January. Part of the Soviet army and special team OMON attacked the television tower in Vilnius, killing 13 and injuring a lot of people. There was planned to organize similar military campaigns in Riga, too. Rethinking the plans of the Soviet Union there was forced a large national demonstration in Riga on 13 January, which was attended by more than half a million people in protest against the violence in Vilnius. At the same day there were set up barricades around major national and public buildings, using heavy machinery, wood and sand.

8 Lots of people arrived in Riga to protect the capital city of Latvia. There is no doubt that for the Soviet troops there weren’t any problems to occupy all major buildings but it would require a greater number of victims than in Vilnius and caused a drastic negative public perception of the world. The face-off culminated on January 20th when Soviet Special Forces initiated a gun battle and temporarily seized the Ministry of the Interior. At the time there were correspondents of the world's largest news agencies like CNN and the BBC, German and Finnish television group in Riga. In total, there were 300 journalists who broadcasted about the information in Latvia to the world. The barricades were a form of non-violent resistance, demonstrating to the Soviet government and the world that people of Latvia were ready to defend their goals and ideals and to protect their country’s independence. This demonstration showed the unity of Latvian people, the strength and resistance that our nation has all these years. On 20 January people meet in Riga, burn fires, remember the events and commemorate death toll.

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10 CANDLEMAS Candlemas is in the middle of winter, and had their songs, games, customs, beliefs, and dishes. On that day people drink plenty of beer and eat pork,they laugh a lot, sing and be merry. Girls eat cranberries to have pink cheeks. On this day Latvians usually pour candles from sheep fat or wax.

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12 SCHROVETIDE Shrovetide is an ancient waiting for spring festival. Shrovetide is celebrated in the first half or in the middle of February. This is very funny festival because on this day people go by sledge down the hill, boil pig snout, and go stilts for the last time.

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14 WOMEN’S DAY ( 8 MARCH) March 8 is celebrated in Latvia as an International Women’s Day. It is the international women’s solidarity day. It is celebrated more or less in most countries of the World. This day is dedicated to all women, regardless their social or biological status. During Soviet times Women’s Day was celebrated widely in the families, factories and offices. Since 2008 it is an official festive day also in the Republic of Latvia, but not a holiday. Men traditionally present flowers and other gifts and wish all the best to women on March 8.

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16 COMMEMORATION DAY OF VICTIMS OF COMMUNIST TERROR ( 25 MARCH) On this day in 1949 the Soviet occupation regime deported over people from Latvia to Siberia. Removal was carefully planned in Moscow and SSR Interior Ministry. Mostly there were deported battalion members, local party activists and intellectuals with their families. Of the total exported 29 per cent were children, but 44 per cent were women and only 27 per cent were men. In the coming years the homes and farms of these deported Latvians were taken over by Soviet citizens brought in Latvia from other Soviet republics and collectivized. This day we celebrate at home, hanging the flags with the black-mourning ribbon. Each year there are memorial events which take place at the Monument of Freedom in Riga, and at the railway stations where Latvians are deported from.

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18 EASTER Easter is the spring solstice, which celebrated in honour of spring and the coming of the sun. Latvians like all Christians have tradition such as the Holy Week before Easter, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The symbol of Easter is an egg that symbolizes the sun. Latvians dye Easter eggs with onion skins, roll them. Another tradition is swinging. They who swing will be protected from mosquitoes’ and gadflies’ bites.

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20 LABOUR DAY ( 1 MAY) The celebration of Labour Day has its origins in the Eight- hour- day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. Most countries celebrate Labour Day on May 1, known as May Day and International Workers' Day. The holiday has become internationalized, and several countries hold multi-day celebrations including parades, shows and other patriotic and labour-oriented events. In Latvia this festival first was held in the year 1893 in Liepaja. In 1905 the first celebration was also attended by rural workers. In Soviet period 1 May demonstrations became fragmented, noisy celebration performances. Marches consisted of flags, colourful balloons, brass band and slogans. Now people in Latvia use this day to be together with their families.

21 DECLARATION OH INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA On May 4, 1990 pro-independence members of the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR (the highest legislative body in then occupied Latvia) passed a Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia. This vote launched a transitional period until full independence was restored in August This date is now observed as as Latvia’s ‘second independence day’.

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23 MOTHER’S DAY Prior to the Second World War in Latvia, this day was devoted to a celebration of the family and its values. Since 1992 Latvia has joined others in the world recognising this as Mother’s Day. Since the mother is the central figure of traditional Latvian families, the essence of this holiday has not changed. Children congratulate their mothers with flowers and self- made gifts. This day is sincere family holiday. Schools in the day held a variety of measures, which invite students' families especially mothers.

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