Midsummer Eve (Bridge Day) in Latvia in 2020

Midsummer Eve (Bridge Day) in Latvia in 2020
  How long until Midsummer Eve (Bridge Day)?
This holiday next takes place in 81 days.
  Dates of Midsummer Eve (Bridge Day) in Latvia
2022 Latvia Thu, Jun 23 National Holiday
2021 Latvia Wed, Jun 23 National Holiday
2020 Jun 22, Jun 23
LatviaTue, Jun 23National Holiday
LatviaMon, Jun 22National Holiday (bridge day)
2019 Latvia Sun, Jun 23 National Holiday
2018 Latvia Sat, Jun 23 National Holiday
Jāņi is a Latvian festival, which celebrates the summer solstice, the day when it has the shortest night and the longest day
  Local name
Līgo Diena
  Which regions observe Midsummer Eve in 2020?
  LatviaJun 22National Holiday (bridge day)
  LatviaJun 23National Holiday
Related holidays

When is Midsummer Eve?

Known as Jāņi (Latvian for 'John') or Ligo (meaning 'Festival'), this Latvian public holiday is celebrated each year on 23rd June. The actual date of Midsummer day may vary between the 20th - 21st June.

The following day, St John's Day is also a public holiday. Depending on what day of the week, these holidays fall on, then additional bridge holidays may also be declared.

What is Midsummer Eve?

Jāņi marks the summer solstice and the shortest night of the year and it has become one of the most important holidays in Latvia.

At the summer solstice, the northern hemisphere is tilted at its maximum angle towards the sun resulting in the maximum amount of hours of daylight.

Since ancient times, this midsummer day has been observed and celebrated by many cultures. In the agricultural calendar, it was a time to celebrate the sowing of the crops and enjoy the short break before harvest began. In Northern Europe, its effects are more pronounced with very long days, which of course is contrasted six months later when the winter solstice (Ziemassvētki) results in very long nights in that part of the world.

In astronomical terms, the longest day of the year takes places on either 20th June or 21st June. With the Christianisation of Latvia, Jāņi was moved to the day before St. John's Day.

The day before Jāņi is called 'Herbal day' (Zāļu diena), when people will gather up the flowers and plants that will be used to make bouquets and wreaths to be worn on Jāņi. Women wear wreaths made from flowers, while men wear ones made with twigs or leaves. It is a holiday to celebrate with dancing, singing, eating and drinking being the order of the day.

One custom is to jump over bonfires, which is an ancient tradition associated with other festivals around the world, such as Parsi, the Persian New Year.

During the Soviet era, the celebration of ethnic holidays such as Jāņi were suppressed by the authorities as they were seen as nationalistic when the focus should be on the Soviet Union as a collective.

Since independence in 1990, the holiday has been reinstated and the (at least) two-day break for Jāņi and St. John's Day has proved a popular holiday period for Latvians to take some time off and enjoy the weather at this time of year.

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