The Google Doodle of today honours Latvia’s Independence Day. On this date in 1918, the Latvian People’s Council met in the capital of Riga and formally declared their independence from both Germany and Russia.
A military procession that passes the Freedom Monument, where people lay flowers in memory of those who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom, is one of the events Latvians hold to celebrate the national holiday. In a televised speech, the President of the Republic of Latvia discusses Latvian patriotism and the significance of the holiday.
People in Latvia eat meals like prgi (bacon pies), rupjmaize (rye bread), and pelkie ziri ar spei throughout the day (a stew made of grey peas and bacon). As the sun sets, children’s choirs and musicians perform free outdoor performances, which encourage dancing and singing in the square. Additionally, tens of thousands of people wander through Riga’s festive streets while participating in a torchlight parade.
The red and white striped flag of Latvia is shown in today’s Google Doodle. This flag was used by Latvia as early as 1279, even though it wasn’t formally adopted until 1923, making it one of the oldest ones still in use today. The Latvian flag survived despite being outlawed for many years by colonising troops.
Have a happy Independence Day, Latvia!