We see Latvian boys involved in a range of diffrent activities. There have been some Latvian boys' choirs.
We see Latvian children with many of the toys popular in Germany. We also note a range of differentgames.
Latvin national holidays include: January 1--New Year's Day; Good Friday; Easter Sunday; May 1--Labor Day; June 24--Midsummer; November 18--Independence Day; December 24-26 (Christmas). As in the rest of Europe, football (soccer) was the the preminent national sport. Scouting was the principal boys' youth groups. Latvia had until the Soviet invasion an active Scouting movement. The Soviets banned Scouting and Latvian boys hd to participate in the Young Pioneers movement. There are many areas such as music and dance that we still know nothing about. Hopefully our Latvian readers will tell us more about boys' activities in their country.
There have been some Latvian boys' choirs. Latvia is one of the three Baltic republics which became independent with the disolution of the Soviet Union. HBC know of three choirs. Two are of fairly recent origin. There is also a choir ar a state school promoting music. I am not sure when this choir was founded.
We do not yet know anything about dance in Latvia.
Latvian national holidays include: January 1--New Year's Day; Good Friday; Easter Sunday; May 1--Labor Day; June 24--Midsummer; November 18--Independence Day; December 24-26--Christmas. This holiday is celebrated on 18 November. If the day is on the weekend, then the following Monday is a holiday. Latvia's National Day is also known as Latvijas Republikas proklamēšanas diena (Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia). Independence Day commemorates declaration of independence of the Republic of Latvia from German and Russian occupation at the end of World War I (November 18, 1918). The People's Council of Latvia proclaimed independence in the building that today houses the National Theatre in Rīga. The country remained independent until the World War II. As part of the NAZI-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the Soviet Red Army seized the country and initiated a brutal suppression of the Latvian people (June 17, 1940). The NAZIs droive out the Soviets (1941), but the Red Army returned (1944). The restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia was proclaimed (May 4, 1990). Like the other Baltic republics, Latvia did not regain its independence from the Soviet Union for more than four decades (August 21, 1991). This second independence declaration is commemorated annually as the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia holiday (May 4) each year. Many festive events are organized throughout the country on Latvia's National Day, including a nationally televised address to the people by the President. In recent years this speech is given before large crowds in the square by the Freedom Monument in Rīga.
Christmas in one of the most important holidays in Latvia. Like Easter, however, it was discouraged for many years by Soviet authorities promoting athiesm. The Christmas season in Latvia begins with Advent. Many families put up Advent wreaths. Father Christmas is an important Christmas figure for Latvian children. He traditinally brings presents on each of the 12 days of Christmas, beginning on Christmas Eve. The presents are usually put under the family Christmas tree. The children thus get about 2 weeks of presents, but of course most are small treats. Latvians claims to have put up the first Christmas Tree. They insist thsat the first documented use of a evergreen tree at Christmas and New Year was at town square of Riga (1510). Little informatin is available on this first tree ther than it was attended by men wearing black hats and that after an undescribed ceremony, it was burnt. At the time it was a German-dominated Hanseatic town. Latvians attend a church service on Christmas Eve. This is more common than on Christmas Day. The Christmas Day meal is another tradition. Popular foods include potatoes with sauerkraut and pork, brown peas/lentils with bacon (pork) sauce, small pies, cabbage and sausage. Gingerbread is a major Chrstmas tradition. The major gifts are exchanged following the Christmas meal. The children are expected to recite a short poem while standing next to the Christmas tree!
Latvia is a very small country, but has produced an imoressive number of world-class musicians. We do not yet know much about music in Latvia. The German cultural influence has surely been a significant factor in latvian music. This has been an influence in clasical music. The Soviets also promoted music which had less ideological connotation than the other arts. Pēteris Vasks is perhaps the best known Latvian composer. The Boston Symphony Ochestra, the Councertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, as well as the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra in 2019 were all led by Latvians. We note a music group at a Latvian genesium (secondary school) during the idependece period of the 1930s. We suspect that was fairly common in gimesia atbthetime. We note modern music festivals. The Latvian Song and Dance Festival is a major annual event. There are also folk festivals. The Positivus Festival is the thergest and most important music festival in the Baltics featuring popular music. It offers an impressive lineup of international stars and high quality music, friendly atmosphere, and a good time for all the entire weekend. The location of the festival - the beautiful coastline at Salacgrīva, provides atmosphere that allows everyone to fully enjoy precious summer moments, greatly appreciated by the participating musicians themes. Since regaining indepence from the Soviet Union, it is is contemporary classical music that has especially flourished. There are also some choral groups. Latvian choirs in recent years have earned an impressin reputayio bu winning awards in international competitions, including the European Grand Prix and the main prize of the Choir Olympics.
Outings were another popular activity for children. Outings within a city or town were easy enough by walking or using city transport. We do not know anything about Latvian parks. Outings out into the coiuntry were more prolematical. Something as simple as a picnic was complicated without a car. Few Latvians until after Latvia was able to exit the Soviet Union had cars. Farm families might have a horse and cart. Few families had cars at the time. Going out into the country generally required a train ride. This might be commected with a bus trip depending on just where they were headed. Some outings may have been organized with busses, but we do not know how common that was.
We see Latvian children with many of the toys popular in Germany. We see the popular teddy bears. We also note a range of different games.
As in the rest of Europe, football (soccer) was the the preminent national sport.
We do not yet have much information on the toys popular in Latvia. We do not have any information begore the 19th century. We note some toys used as props in photographic studios during the late-19th century. We note a graet horse pull toy in a late-19th century Riga portrait. These pull toys, epecially horse pull toys, were popular toys for boys. e see them thtrouhout Europe during the 10th century. At the time Latvia was a part of the Tsarist empire, but German toys seem popular in Russia. And ethnic Germans were an important part of the population mix in Latvian cities. Latvians dominated the couuntry sude, but the cities were a mix of Germans, Jews, Latvians, nd Russians. We believe that Latvian toys were essentially the same toys popular in Geramny which had a large toy industry. Note the teddy bears in the 1930s portrait here (figure 1). At the time, Latvia was an independent country. Teddies were a popular German toy and as we can see popular in Latvia.
We have little information on Estonian youth groups at this time. Scouting began tp appear in informally in Latvia while the country was still part of Tsarist Russia. I know of no other youth groups in Latvia at the time. Scouting was the principal boys' youth groups. Latvia had until the Soviet invasion an active Scouting movement. The Soviets banned Scouting and Latvian boys hd to participate in the Young Pioneers movement.
I am not sure to what extent the Soviet Pioneer movement was organized in Latvia prior to the NAZI invasion. The NAZIs invaded the Soviet Union (June 1941) and within days reached Latvia. I do not know if the NAZIs attempted to organize any nationalist youth group. The Red Army retook Latvia (1945) and for several decades the only youth group allowed to function was the Young Pioneers.
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