To mark the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Latvia's independence on the 4th of May this year, the people of Latvia are invited to create a special festive mood at home, place a heartfelt greeting in the window and read up on the events surrounding the Re-awakening. Due to the current state of emergency, no public events will take place on the 4th of May, however, organisers say that everyone will be able to take part in various events individually and remotely.
“The 4th of May is the page of our history that represents the peoples’ desire for national independence and at the same time, a powerful expression of community. This year, thirty years after the adoption of the Declaration "On the Restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia", due to the current state of emergency, the holiday will be different. We will not meet in person at public events nor celebrate with a wide circle of friends and relatives. We do however, have an opportunity to create a special festive mood at home, to place a heartfelt greeting in our windows to delight our neighbours as well as to use the time to learn about the events of the Re-awakening,” says the Minister of Culture, Nauris Puntulis.
The President of the 4th of May Club, Velta Čebotarenoka, believes:
"On the 4th of May, we regained our greatest values – the freedom to think, do and express ourselves, as well as independence, which guarantees these opportunities, but most importantly, gives us faith in the future. Let's protect and value our regained freedom and independence!”.
At 12:00 on the 4th of May, the Saeima will convene for its solemn sitting, which everyone will be able to follow live on the Saeima website, as well as on Latvian Television and Latvian Radio. On the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Latvia's independence, the Speaker of the Saeima, Ināra Mūrniece will deliver a celebratory address. Due to the necessity to observe a physical distance, the sitting of the Saeima will not take place in the chamber, but in several separate rooms of the Parliament. At 09:00 on this day, the ecumenical service will also take place remotely, and be broadcast live on Latvian Television from the Riga Cathedral
The Freedom Monument will be adorned with an environmental art installation made of flowers entitled Flower Latvia, and a multi-media piece called Gate of Honour that will tell a virtual tale about the Latvian national flag and the anthem God bless Latvia!
The video version of the story will be available on the website iksd.riga.lv/lv/rd-iksd. A festival program in the virtual environment has also been prepared by the Riga Municipal Cultural Centres, museums, the Riga Orchestra and the Riga Central Library. People are invited to go on an exploratory walking route, either virtually or individually, to visit the places in the Old Town and the centre of Riga where the Declaration of Independence was discussed, written and accepted. The route has been prepared by the People's Front Museum Department of the Latvian National Museum of History lnvm.lv/.
The Latvian Postal Service has prepared a special greeting in co-operation with the National Archives of Latvia - a special series of postcards with historical photographs taken on the 4th of May 1990 at the Supreme Council building and on the embankment on the 11th of November.
Postcards can be sent using the service www.pastabalodis.lv/en/shop/4maijs30.
The Latvian film marathon will take place online on the portal www.filmas.lv/. Several premieres and an extensive film program are planned for the occasion. For the first time, the film marathon will be available not only in Riga, but also to cinema-goers in Latvia and around the world. The traditional procession of folk costumes will also take place remotely this year, and people in folk costumes are invited to publish photographs of themselves on social networks.
To celebrate the 4th of May, the Latvian Institute is launching a new multimedia project The Latvian ABC, which will be available in English in various formats - as e-cards, as an audio book and as a printed brochure. The Latvian Institute, together with the Latvian Academy of Art present a public art project Celebrate your Freedom. Create and Do, which shows the vision of Latvia's new generation of talents reflecting on the path to Latvia's freedom and independence.
Special events have been prepared by municipalities throughout Latvia. Sigulda invites you to get ready for the festivities, by laying a table with a white tablecloth called “ie[log]ojies”. On the 4th of May, running to a pre-arranged schedule, a drone will arrive in the courtyards of apartment buildings and certain suburbs to capture the greetings that people will present from open windows. Alvis Rozenbergs, the photographer of the “ie[log]ojies” campaign, has already started creating photo collages from greetings in the windows on Instagram at instagram.com/_var_dzivot_/
The group Kingi from Rēzekne will give a concert online at 18:00, The Talsi Artisan Centre will organize an unusual event. At 13:00 there will be online conversations and music called Sitting at the White Table. Products by local entrepreneurs and home producers will be brought to the table, while representatives of various professions from Talsi are expected as guests. The municipalities of Cēsis and Ogre invite residents to share stories of their memories of the 4th of May, 1990. In order to create a common sense of celebration, in Liepāja, an electronic website will be launched especially for Liepāja residents, where they will be invited to compose celebratory greetings for Latvia.
More detailed information about the events of the 4th of May and a compilation of informative materials about the Re-awakening is available on the website lv100.lv/en/, on the event platform kurpes.lv/pasakumi/4maijs, as well as on the websites of local governments and organizers.