Festivals Russia

Baltic States + Russia: The national holidays in Russia are: New Year (January 1), Christmas (January 7), International Women’s Day (March 8), International Labour Day (May 1), Victory Day (May 9), Independence Day (June 12) and Reconciliation Day (November 7), on this day people celebrated the revolution in the past.

The national holidays in Estonia are: Independence Day, Declaration of 1918 (February 24), Labour Day (May 1), Midsummer night (June 23/24), Victory Day, battle in 1919 (June 23) and the Recovery of Independence in 1991 (August 20).

The national holidays in Latvia are: Labour Day (May 1), Mother’s Day (May 8 2016), Memorial for the victims of the Soviet deportations in 1941 (June 14), Midsummer night or Ligo (June 23), Recovery of Independence in 1991 (August 21) and the Proclamation of the Republic in 1918 (November 18).

Ligo is the Latvian holiday of the solstice, the pre-Christian Midsummer night that is officially celebrated for two days. During Ligo campfires make sure it does not get dark during the shortest night of the year. People collect meadow flowers and culms of grasses that have a magic effect. Men wear wreaths of oak leaves in their hair and the women wear flower garlands. Also houses, farms and the cattle are decorated with it. Jâni-cheese (kummel-cheese) is served with the dinner and many people drink home-brewed barley beer.

During New Year’s Eve there are twelve dishes on the table that stand for the twelve months of the old year. A famous dish is the cranberries; women have to eat them to keep beautiful and healthy in the new year. Chickpeas have to be eaten before midnight because they symbolize the tears that people want to leave behind in the old year. The silver scales of the eaten fish are dried and kept in the wallet as a promise for the money people will earn in the new year.

The national holidays of Lithuania are: Independence Day 1918 (February 16), Commemoration of the Independence 1990 (March 11), Mother’s Day (May 1 2016), Ascension Day (August 15), Day of Mourning and Hope in memory of the deportations in 1948 (June 14), Day of the State (July 6), Black Band Day: the memorial of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in 1939 whereby the Baltic States were allocated within the Soviet sphere of influence (August 23) and All Saints’ Day (November 1).

Besides these national holidays the Baltic States also celebrate a large number of holidays honoring the army, the fire brigade, the fleet, the air force, the police, et cetera. The Baltic States also celebrate some religious holidays; Easter is the most important religious holiday.