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Latvia marks 100th anniversary of independence

19 Nov 2018, 01:01 ( 6 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Building is lit up in colors of the Latvian flag during the annual Staro Riga Light Festival in Riga, Latvia, Nov. 17, 2018. Photo Xinhua/Janis.

Latvia celebrated its 100th Independence Day on Sunday with concerts, church services, a military parade and numerous other festive events not only in the capital city Riga but across the country.

   The events were held to mark the centenary of the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia on Nov. 18, 1918. Celebrations dedicated to this historic event began already in May 2017 and will continue until 2019. 

   The Latvian parliament on Sunday convened for a special meeting at the Latvian National Theater in Riga, the same venue where the Republic of Latvia was founded 100 years ago. The traditional Independence Day concert also took place at the theater in the evening.

   The military parade in Riga with around 1,700 participators was the largest ever held in Latvia.

   Thousands of people watched the military parade, which also displayed military equipment.

   Later in the evening, people flocked to an embankment in Riga, where President Raimonds Vejonis' gave a national address and watch a magnificent multi-media show "The Life of the Sun". The celebrations culminated when a spectacular fireworks show started.

   Addressing the nation, President Vejonis said that the future of Latvia is in the hands of its people and urged everyone to honor and protect democratic values as the basis of the Latvian state.

   Attending the centenary celebrations in the Latvian capital were also many foreign guests, including Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Icelandic President Gudni Johannesson, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, as well as foreign diplomats, officials and dignitaries.