On Thursday, December 1, the first event will open the Vērmanes Fairy-Tale Garden programme for families with children, which will continue until Christmas week. Over the weekend, Riga will celebrate the Second Advent with concerts in the city, a procession of elves and tree decorations in the neighbourhoods.
Christmas miracles await in "Vērmanes Fairy-Tale Garden"
On December 1 - 22, young and old, as well as visitors to Riga, are welcome at the Vērmanes Fairy-Tale Garden, where every Thursday evening, from 18.00 to 19.30, various artists and collectives will perform Christmas compositions and original works, as well as surprises will be provided for children, by the garden fountain.
"This year, Vērmanes Garden will wake up in December and shine, transforming into a fairy-tale garden. Everyone will be able to join in the singing of chorales and choir singing, as well as enjoy theatrical performances. The younger visitors will be entertained by readings of their favourite fairy tales, dances and games, and will be greeted by Santa Claus," says Liene Kubiļus, Director of the Riga Municipality Cultural Institution North Riga Cultural Association.
This Thursday, the folklore group Laiksne will perform in the Vērmanes Fairy-Tale Garden, presenting a reading of fairy tales about animals for the youngest visitors, while the amateur theatre Rampa will offer a fairy-tale improvisation on winter themes. The concert will feature the Emīls Dārziņš mixed choir, women's choir Sapnis, women's choir Līga, Crete Fresco Vocal Ensemble, Sonante and Medera mixed choirs, as well as Tu un Es and Fortūna vocal ensembles.
During the festive season, the Christmas Gate of Honour will complement the decoration of Vērmanes Garden.
Second Advent Concerts in Ziedoņdārzs and Elves Procession in Iļģuciems
On Friday, December 2, at 18.30, a concert by the mixed choir Skaņupe will take place in the Kokari Hall of the Mežaparks Grand Stage, while lovers of creative activities will be welcome at the Riga Porcelain Museum from 11.00 to 18.00, where everyone will be able to make porcelain snowflakes, candles and other unique festive souvenirs for gift-giving and decoration.
On Saturday, December 3, a special musical performance for children "In the Footsteps of the Reindeer" will delight audiences in the neighbourhoods of Riga. At 11.00, the performance will be held in Anniņmuižas Park, and at 14.00 it will take place in Ēbelmuižas Park. Everyone is welcome to play, dance to the music and experience the fascinating story of how the Reindeer travels around the world with two bears.
At 15.00 and 16.00 well-known Latvian artists will join in a musical performance "Christmas Tea with Sunny Groove Dixie" in Sarkandaugava Hill Park.
On Sunday, December 4, the city centre and its neighbourhoods will host a number of events to celebrate the Second Advent. At 12.00, the bell ensemble Campanella, the ensemble of students of the Andžejs Grauds’ drum school and the wind instrument quintet Christmas Joy will perform at the Bolderāja Music and Art School, and at 15.00 they will entertain the gathered with a concert at the Culture and Leisure Centre Imanta.
At 14.00 and 16.00, traditional Advent concerts will be performed from the balcony of the Town Hall, while at 15.00 and 16.00 popular Christmas melodies will delight the audience in Ziedoņdārzs.
At 16.00 a Christmas tree lighting will take place in the Ziemeļblāzma park by the House of Culture together with fairy-tale characters and Santa Clause, and at 17.00, a Christmas tree will be lit and elves will go into processing in Iļģuciems. At 16.00, the mixed choir Laudate, the chamber choir Austrums and the mixed choir Skaņupe will entertain the audience at the concert hall Ave Sol, and at 19.00, the duo Kristīne Pāže and Didzis Bordo will gather the audience at the cultural centre Mazā Ģilde.
Christmas markets continue this weekend. Gifts and festive treats will be available at the Christmas market in Kalnciema Quarter, as well as at the markets in Doma Square and Esplanāde.
Christmas hats on poster poles and light objects in city parks
This year, the visual image of Christmas and holiday greetings have been created by Latvian artist, illustrator, and architect Anna Vaivare. The artist’s festive motifs and images adorn the city’s outdoor billboards and poster poles which invite visitors to experience the wonders of Christmas in Riga. This week, several poster poles in the capital have been decorated with Christmas elf hats inspired by the artist's illustrations.
Starting from December 10, 20 parks, squares and playgrounds of the capital will be specially illuminated in full colour and volume, while from December 17 every Riga resident and city guest will be able to see the shining wonders of Christmas lights also on the Christmas Light Trail on the Canal Embankment.
In Riga, the main Christmas trees have already been lit in Doma Square and Rātslaukums, while the other 18 Christmas trees provided by the municipality will be lit in cultural centres, parks and squares until December 6. 20 Christmas trees donated by the municipality will be decorated by neighbourhood associations in the city.
This week, printed booklets with the programme of the celebrations will be available in Riga municipal libraries, culture centres, customer service stations in Neighbourhood Centres, and also the Riga Tourist Information Centre.
Information was prepared by: Rita Plūme, Riga City Council Communication Administration Strategic Communication Division project coordinator, e-mail: Rita.Plume@riga.lv.