Latvia 100

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Latvia 100
18.novembra svinīgie pasākumi (45215007794).jpg
Native name Latvijas valsts simtgade, Latvija 100
Location Latvia
Theme100th anniversary of the founding of Latvia
Budget€60 million[1]

The 100th Anniversary of the Latvian Republic (Latvian: Latvijas valsts simtgade) also commercialized as Latvia 100 (Latvija 100) is a national event in the Latvian Republic celebrating the country's 100th anniversary since its 1918 establishment. The main celebrations are held on 11 November 2018, and other commemorative events are set to take place from 2017-2021. Outside from the official celebrations, 11 November is also a public holiday, being the Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia.


On 18 November 1918, The People's Council of Latvia, which was a coalition of competing Latvian political factions, proclaimed the independence of the Latvian region from the Russian Empire and established a new state, the Republic of Latvia, following a summit held inside the Latvian National Theatre. A Provisional Government was immediately created, with Kārlis Ulmanis acting as its first Prime Minister. 2 and a half weeks later, Latvian War of Independence began, with the Red Army and the Imperial German Army invading the country, later joined by the West Russian Volunteer Army, in order to have a foothold in the Baltic states. The war ended with a Latvian/pan-Baltic victory in August 1920 and the signing of the Treaty of Riga.


The centennial will be the biggest event in the history of modern Latvia. More than 800 wide range celebratory events and festivities were planned to take place from May 2017 to January 2021 in Latvia and in more than 70 countries.[2] The 5-year span will include events that mark the centenaries of different stages of Latvia's path to independence, as well as Latvia's accomplishments after its statehood was achieved. The official celebrations started on May 4, 2017, the Day of the Restoration of the Independence of Latvia, with the Embrace Latvia (Latvian: Apskauj Latviju) initiative when citizens planted exactly 100 oaks along the country's border.[3][4]

As per events on its actual centennial anniversary on 11 November 2018, many high-level government officials, dignitaries, military leaders, and public figures laid wreaths and flowers at the Freedom Monument in the capital. A musical concert was held at the Latvian National Theatre, where Latvia declared its sovereignty in 1918. A special meeting of the Saeima was also held at the theatre.[5]

Military Parade[edit]

The Italian Bersaglieri marching in the military parade.
26th Latvian Song and Dance Festival closing concert "On the Starry Path".

The annual military parade on the November 11th Embankment in Riga marked the centennial anniversary's main events. It was the largest in history with around 1,700 soldiers from the Latvian National Armed Forces participating in the march past.[6] It was composed of personnel of the Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, Border Guard, Military Police, State Police, State Fire and Rescue Service and military academies. The parade was led by Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis, Chief of the National Defence Forces Leonīds Kalniņš and Naval Forces commander Ingus Vizulis.[7] Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Armed Forces chief Riho Terras, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson joined in attending the military parade and the celebrations.

The NATO countries and other military partners of Latvia that were represented at the parade were Italy, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Finland, Albania, Croatia, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain Slovenia, Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Canada and the United States.[8]

Latvian Song and Dance Festival[edit]

The 26th Latvian Song and Dance Festival in early July also touched upon the centenary of the country and used elements of the centenary logo in its design.[9][10]

Focus of celebrations by year[edit]

Each year of the anniversary has a keyword in recognition of events that took place 100 years ago, which were significant to the foundation of the country.[11]

  • 2017 - The Year of Will. Honours the consolidation of the independence movement in Latvia.
  • 2018 - The Year of Birth. Commemorates the creation of Latvia as well as the countries of the Baltics and Central and Eastern Europe from the ruins of former empires.
  • 2019 - The Year of Courage. Commemorates those who died in the Latvian War of Independence.
  • 2020 - The Year of Freedom. Honours freedom, the birth of parliamentarism with the first parliament elections and the election of the first Latvian President.
  • 2021 - The Year of Growth. Honours the days when Latvia was internationally recognised as a country and was accepted into the League of Nations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Centenary celebrations to cost €60 million". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "Centenary of the Republic of Latvia". Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.
  3. ^ "Latvia's Centenary". January 31, 2017.
  4. ^ "Par - Apskauj Latviju". Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  5. ^ "Latvia Marks 100 Years Since Independence From Russian Empire". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2018-11-18. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  6. ^ "Latvia marks 100th anniversary of independence". Xinhua. 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  7. ^ "November 18 military parade in Riga draws thousands of spectators | News | LETA". LETA. 2018-11-18. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  8. ^ "Military parade in honor of the centenary of independence of Latvia. Photo". MiceTimes. 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  9. ^ "XXVI Latvian Nationwide Song and XVI Dance Celebration". Latvia 100. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  10. ^ "Latvian Song and Dance Celebration – Uniting a Nation". Borders Of Adventure. 2018-08-23. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  11. ^ "About". Latvia 100.

External links[edit]