The Centenary celebrations will begin at 9 a.m. on May 4 at Latvia’s farthest points to the North, South, East, and West – in Ipiķi, Demene, Pasiena, and Nīca respectively – with the Embrace Latvia event. One hundred oak trees with special Centenary markings will be planted along the Latvian border, symbolically accentuating the unity of the Latvian people.
Consequently, many of the territories around the Centenary Oaks are to be developed, creating symbolic gateways to Latvia. Significant historical sites will be highlighted in a number of territories. In several locations, the planting will take place in cooperation with the neighbouring countries – a group from Lithuania will take part at Rundāle and Priekule, Estonians will participate in Ainaži and Rūjiena, and Belarussians will join the festivities in Krāslava.
White Tablecloth Day
To honour the courageous statesmen who united the Latvian people on the road to an independent state a century ago, on May 4 the Latvian people, together with friends, relatives and colleagues, will gather around white-clad tables for the White Tablecloth Day. The white tablecloth is a symbol of self-confidence and pride, and the essence of the celebration is to be together and to communicate, to honour old traditions that emphasise the Latvian cultural heritage as well as culinary traditions.
May 4 also marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Latvia in 1990, passed by the majority of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Latvia, renewing the country’s independence from the Soviet rule.
The White Tablecloth Day involves a number of public events throughout the country, as well as in the capital city, Rīga. The Esplanade Park and the linden alley opposite the Cabinet of Ministers will host poetry readings, a silkscreen workshop and dance performances. Those favouring active lifestyle will be invited to jog, walk or cycle a 3 km route around the city centre resembling the contour of Latvia.
Jog Latvia in the World
On this day, Latvians and friends of Latvia are invited leave virtual imprints of Latvia around the world by jogging, walking or cycling a route resembling the geographic contour of Latvia. Be it a marathon, a half marathon, or a shorter distance around your town or city, challenge yourself for Latvia – use one of the 20 routes designed by the Latvian Institute together with the Virtual Club of Runners “Noskrien.LV”, 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.
Those interested in a light jog in Riga, are invited to take part at the Jog Latvia in the World event in the linden alley opposite the Cabinet of Ministers, from 11 a.m. till 6 p.m. 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, with the culmination on November 18, 2018, Latvia will present the best it can offer in culture, lifestyle and innovation.