Riga Harvest Festival

25 September, 2014

The best possible way to get really well acquainted with a city is to get involved with as many local events and customs as possible. If you’re currently studying in Riga, this month will provide the perfect chance. Each year in September, the final Sunday of the month sees locals of Riga throw a huge harvest festival to celebrate ‘Mikelis Day’, otherwise known as the autumnal equinox.

In fact, very little has changed in the celebration of this festival over time, which is incredible considering that its roots can be traced right back to pagan times, before Christianity had even been introduced to the region!

This Sunday, hundreds of farmers and craftspeople will set up stalls overflowing with colourful fresh produce and intricate traditional handicrafts. This is always a beautiful sight with the tumbling piles of pumpkins and other gourds colouring the scene with autumnal hues. If you wanted gifts for your loved ones at home, the crafts here are all handmade, and are a brilliant alternative to the typical souvenir-shop bric-a-brac.

Naturally, the market isn’t the only event. Joyful folk singing and vibrant customary dances create a remarkable atmosphere as the crowds delight in celebrating this ancient festival. You can also sample a range of time-honoured recipes, as well as some outstanding beers and spirits.

This festival absolutely shouldn’t be missed, so this Sunday, make sure you’re in Riga’s Cathedral Square for this unforgettable event.

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