Riga Christmas Market

Riga Christmas Market
The most famous and popular Christmas market in Riga is held annually in the historical center of Latvia’s capital, known as Old Riga (Vecrīga) which is famous for its old cathedrals and churches. The market in its modern form was founded in 2001, but the tradition of Christmas markets in Latvia dates back to centuries ago. It was forgotten when Latvia became a Soviet republic.

The Riga Christmas market (Vecrīgas Ziemassvētku tirdziņš) is held in the Dome Square (Doma laukums), one of the largest squares in Vecrīga. It opens in late November and lasts until Orthodox Christmas Eve (January 6) that coincides with the Feast of Epiphany in Western Christianity. The market features several dozen wooden huts where local merchants and artisans offer their products. During the market, the square is dominated by a tall Christmas tree bedecked with thousands of lights.

At the Christmas market in the Dome Square, you can find a wide range of traditional Christmas goods and local handicrafts including scented candles and carved wooden candlesticks, exquisite jewelry made of silver and Baltic amber, cozy knitwear, warm scarves, hats and gloves, wooden toys, handmade teddy bears. It you’re looking for unique Latvian souvenirs for your nearest and dearest, a trip to the Riga Christmas market will surely help you check at least several items off your gift list.

Of course, there are plenty of food stalls offering Christmas treats and local delicacies. At the market, you can taste piparkūkas (ginger nuts which are a traditional Christmas treat in Latvia), roasted almonds and chestnuts, caraway cheese, as well as traditional Latvian Christmas dishes such as stewed sauerkraut, baked ham, pies with smoked bacon, vegetable tarts, etc. As far as drinks are concerned, there’s plenty of Latvian beer and mulled wine. And you absolutely need to have some Riga Black Balsam which is a traditional Latvian herbal liqueur.

The Riga Christmas market offers a rich and diverse entertainment program. It includes live performances by local musicians, art and craft workshops for children and grown-ups, fairground rides, Christmas post office, and meetings with Santa Claus. A special focus is put on activities for kids which include various games and contests, pony rides, a petting zoo, and more.

Riga Christmas Market




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