Ligo Festival Riga Latvia

Ligo Riga Latvia

A top lit fire burning down throughout the night

So this week in Riga was the yearly Ligo festival. The festival consisted of harbour side bonfires, live music, food, rain, beer and a lot of dancing.

On Arrival it was raining quite heavily, everyone had umbrellas, the large stage had live performers and singers singing traditional Latvian songs.

Fire Ligo Latvia

Awaiting the fires to be lit

It all seemed not that overly exciting at first, however beer consumption increased as the night got on and the atmosphere became quite merry. At 23:15 two large bonfires on the street were lit further enhancing the atmosphere.

The fires were top lit, meaning they would burn downwards more slowly, roaring away for around 5 hours. The night itself officially ended at 4am, we left 2 hours earlier than this. The Live bands on the stage were still playing and the area was still just as crowded as earlier, I’m assuming it stayed this way until close.

The girls all had flowers on their head and the men had big green leaves, it’s a site to see, these can be bought from the many vendors on the street for around 10 euro, beers range from 2 to 3 euro.

The street is closed off from traffic, along the side of the street are tents selling food and beer with tables and chairs out the front, behind these tents are hundreds of portable chemical toilets.

Latvian beer and snacks

Popular Latvian beer snack, fried bread

I’d highly recommend joining this festival’s very well behaved people eating and drinking all night. If you plan on visiting Latvia be sure to go during Ligo, ensure you turn up with an empty stomach and a willingness to eat, drink and be merry.

With free entry it’s easy to come and go throughout the night, around 9pm we stepped out to a near by bar, mostly to get out of the rain. Here we ate some fried bread (a popular Latvian beer snack) , enjoyed a beer and cider each before returning for the bonfire lighting ritual.