Latvia officially starts its Centenary Celebration on May 4, 2017

In 2018, Latvia celebrates a hundred years since it became an independent state. With festivities at home and all around the world in the period of 2017 to 2021, Latvia will present the best it has to offer in culture, lifestyle and innovation.

Symbolic Date

May 4, as the Centenary Celebration opening day, has been chosen because of its historic meaning – in 1917, the Latgale Congress passed the decision of the ethno-cultural region of Latgale to unite with Kurzeme and Vidzeme on a shared path to an independent state. This event became a turning point in the history towards the statehood of Latvia.

Coincidently, on May 4, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic voted for the restoration of Latvia’s sovereignty by adopting the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence and thus breaking the Soviet rule. Just like in 1918, when Latvia became an independent state in a democratic way, in 1990 Latvia regained its independence democratically.

Centenary Oaks and White Tablecloth Celebration

This year on May 4, the opening festivities of Latvia’s Centenary Celebration will take place all around the country. Together we will “Embrace Latvia” by planting a hundred oaks along Latvia’s outer border, symbolically laying the foundations of Latvia’s strength for the next 100 years. Afterwards, we will continue the festivities with the new May 4 tradition of White Tablecloth Celebration. The idea is to gather families, friends, neighbours and communities around a white-clad table, cherishing togetherness and the gift of living in a free country of our own. Anyone anywhere in the world may join in and have a White Tablecloth Celebration of one’s own.

Jog Latvia in the World

Moreover, Latvians and friends of Latvia worldwide are invited to run or walk a route resembling the geographic shape of Latvia, leaving virtual imprints of Latvia around the world. The Latvian Institute together with the NGO, Virtual Club of Runners “Noskrien.LV”, launched this Centenary initiative “Jog Latvia in the World” on April 7, 2017, as part of Latvia’s Centenary Celebration. Be it a marathon, a half marathon, or a shorter distance around your town or city, challenge yourself for Latvia – use one of our premade routes or put together one of your own on your favourite sports app and use the hashtag #izskrienLatviju. Share it with friends, family members and neighbours. Find the routes here.

Be a part of the festivities

If you want to take part in the opening festivities of Latvia’s Centenary Celebration in May, you can do the following:

  • lay a white-clad table at home or at work in honour of freedom and Latvia;
  • honour the traditions of the Latvian cuisine – bake a cottage-cheese and raisin pie and other Latvian culinary specialities for your guests.
  • spend time together with your beloved ones – talk, sing, dance, watch a Latvian movie, read some Latvian poetry;
  • jog, walk or ride a route resembling the geographic shape of Latvia – anywhere in the world, in May or any time during Centenary Celebration years.