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Midsummer’s Eve

The most important holiday for every Latvian is the Summer Solstice festival.

A great feast, song and dance, the shortest night of the year spent in front of a bonfire, mystical rituals and even a bit of romance – this is what makes the Līgo celebration or Jāņi.

What is Līgo?

Many ancient traditions that have disappeared in Europe are alive and well in Latvia. Especially Midsummer Night (June 23). This 3-day celebration of the summer solstice is the biggest and most beloved holiday in Latvia.

 Farms are bedecked with garlands of oak branches and meadow flowers. Nearly everyone leaves the city for the open air so that the shortest night of the year can be spent in the merry company of friends Campfires are lit, special songs are sung, dancing is a universal element during the festival.  Latvia's Midsummer night celebration is called Jāņi in Latvian, and it is the one night of the year that you must never sleep. Most activities are outside and center around a huge bonfire.  A bonfire is set and jumping over it is a tradition. According to Latvian custom bonfire should light all over the night.

 A traditional special type of cheese with caraway seeds, made out of curd called Janu cheese and beer is made by Latvians, which is consumed by them and gifted to others along with their greetings. The day before Midsummer is often known as Herb Day as herbs and flowers are collected at Jani. The herbs and roots are collected for their significant healing powers. Latvia has a tradition of wearing wreaths of flowers and herbs for women and leaves for the men. In respect to festival name, oak wreaths are worn by men named 'Jānis' (Jānis being Latvian for John). According to the Latvian tradition, there is a magical fern which blooms only that night. Latvians believe whoever finds it that night, will get love and happiness.

Jāņi is celebrated on the summer solstice on 23 and 24 June. This pagan-like holiday is almost more popular in Latvia than New Year's Eve and Christmas.

Photo of Latvian Wild Flowers.


  1. Paldies par skaistam Janu ainavam. Jutos isti ka majas ar visiem skaistiem augiem, itseviski meza zemenitem kuras ari mana darza vairojas. Ari Austrija svin Janus ka pie mums ar januguniem aukstios kalu galos.

    Vai ari Jus sogad atradiet papardes ziedu?

    Ar miliem sveicieniem no otras pasaules puses . . . Arija

  2. Sveicināta, Ārija!

    Jā, Līgo svētki ir visjautrākie mūsu svētki - ar ugunskuriem, papardes ziediem un lielo jautrību. Jauki, ka arī jūs šo tradīciju esat saglabājuši, neskatotis ne uz ko...

  3. Such interesting post about Latvian summer traditions. I enjoyed reading it. Beautiful summer pictures and mosaics!

  4. Oh, beautiful images;-)
    Best greetings.

  5. Thank you, Sandra, for the introduction of Summer Solstice Festival in Latvia. It’s nice to know ancient custom still retained an celebrated by people. I understand how its special.

    Bonfire at the division of the seasons is similar to Celtic tradition Halloween, though its changed its originality after transferred to USA. In Japan there are five “sekku”, or season’s festival” , not such a big festival but celebrated at home. May 5th marks the beginning of summer.

    Your flowers and photos are breathtaking, this time more colors of blue, my favorite, and shades of purple. What a beautiful city Liga is, and country Latvia! The blue butterfly is exquisitely beautiful. Sigh in contentment and amazement with your gardens.....as always. Have a happy weekend!

  6. Wonderful post, Sandra !
    Nice feast and so beautiful flowers, butterflies and a beautiful squirrel.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. What an amazing festive atmosphere ! The scents of herbs, the bonfire, the wild flowers, the songs... I love it ! Your pictures are delightful.

    Have a nice weekend !

  8. Hello, Olga!

    Hello, Florentyna!

    Hello, Yoko!

    Hello, Claude!

    Hello, Mingingi des prairies !

    Summer is such a wonderful time, this time is a inspiring. It is no wonder that Midsummer is such a joyous and magical occasion!

    Thank you everyone! I am glad you liked them.

  9. BONSOIR et merci pour ces superbes photos la nature est magnifique chez vous
    quel bonheur ces fleurs et toutes ces couleurs
    Bonne soirée SANDRA

  10. Bonsoir France !
    Merci pour vos gentil commentaire sur mes photos.

    Bonne soirée

  11. Hello Sandra,

    The trees on my blog are oaks and ashes with ivy.

  12. Mingingi des prairies

    Merci pour la reponse.
    Je pense que elles sont divinement belles et très originales.

  13. Sandra c'est un plaisir de partager toutes ces informations autour de la nature et des plantes... Vos études sont très prometteuses car vous êtes déjà très douée en français.


  14. Mingingi des prairies

    Merci, je suis très heureux.

  15. Such a great pleasure to visit you Sandra, everything is so lovely here!!!

  16. oh !!! whay a very beautiful blogs
    all the flowers are splendids and congratulations for yours photos

    i'll caome back very quickly

  17. Świetnie to zrobiłaś. Podoba mi się. Pozdrawiam

  18. Ale pięknie tam, i tak pięknie pokazałaś urodę tamtych okolic, łąk i roślin, dziękuję.
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie.

  19. beutiful photos, especially this blue Geranium pratense in light from the back, shining through. Midsummer in Latvia is more important fest than in Poland, I see. I think, that further north the joy of "light festival" is bigger. And Latvia is most traditional than Poland:-) Greetings, MM.

  20. Hello, Maria Cecilia !

    Hello, Nanou !

    Hello, Giga !

    Hello, Talibra !

    Hello, Megimoher !

    Thank you everyone! Yes, In Latvia, celebration of the summer solstice is oldest and most beloved traditional holiday.