Lāčplēsis Day

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People commemorating the fallen by placing candles by the wall of Riga Castle
A Lāčplēsis Day military parade of the Latvian National Armed Forces and units for the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the foot of Freedom Monument

Lāčplēsis Day (Latvian: Lāčplēša diena) is a memorial day for soldiers who fought for the independence of Latvia. It is celebrated on November 11, marking the victory over the West Russian Volunteer Army – a joint Russian-German volunteer force led by the warlord Pavel Bermondt-Avalov – at the 1919 Battle of Riga during the Latvian War of Independence.[1][2][3][4]

A popular Lāčplēsis Day tradition since 1988 has been placing candles by the wall of Riga Castle.[5][6] Similar candle-lighting ceremonies also take place in other cities, villages and military cemeteries across the country.[7] In 2018 there has been a proposal by Unity and National Alliance to make Lāčplēsis Day a national holiday.[8][9]

The name of the memorial day is related to Order of Lāčplēsis, which in turn is named for the protagonist of the Latvian national epic poem, Lāčplēsis (directly translates as Bearslayer) written by Andrejs Pumpurs.[2]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vast programme of festivities prepared for Lacplesis Day celebrations". Baltic News Network. November 11, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Patriotism swells during holiday week". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "Latvia remembers Lacplesis Day". The Baltic Times. November 11, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  4. ^ "Latvia celebrates Lāčplēsis Day". Baltic News Network. November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  5. ^ "Thousands of people left candles to commemorate the fallen on Lāčplēsis Day". Baltic News Network. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  6. ^ "World public invited to light a 'virtual' candle for Lāčplēsis day". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  7. ^ "Latvia pays its respects to soldiers on Lāčplēsis Day". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "Latvian government conceptually supports making Lāčplēsis Day a holiday". Baltic News Network. April 10, 2018. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "Saeima supports making military remembrance day a holiday". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. April 19, 2018. Retrieved November 4, 2018.

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