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Post-Conference activities 
Latvian Midsummer celebration

The Līgo festival, or summer solstice/midsummer celebration, is the most significant celebration in ancient Latvian culture, marking the shortest night and the longest day of the year. After this point, days become shorter, and nights longer, reaching their peak at Christmas or the Winter Solstice, with the shortest day and the longest night.

The festivities are openly celebrated in communities, with families, or with friends, and the essence is to spend the shortest night from sunset to sunrise awake. It involves lively and joyous gatherings with singing, dancing, leaping over bonfires, washing in dew, enjoying rich feasts, and savoring beer. During Līgo celebrations, those who haven't found their significant other yet embark on a quest to find the "fern blossom," which blooms only on this night, promising to meet their other half.

Līgo celebrations take place throughout Latvia on the night from June 23rd to June 24th. If you decide to stay longer in Latvia after the GATE conference, you can join these traditional summer solstice celebration events. Below are some links to events in nearby towns.

If you want to stay close to Sigulda, the best choice is to join the summer solstice celebration in Sigulda Castle Park (where you were during the conference). There will be Latvian theatre entertainment (in Latvian, but enjoyable), singing, dancing, and, of course, a Līgo campfire. You can find more information about the event here: Līgo Night in Sigulda - Sigulda Excites!

There are plenty of hotels and hostels in Sigulda. You can visit Airbnb or Booking.com for accommodations. If you prefer camping, we recommend Sigulda Beach Camping, a nice place near the Gauja River and close to Sigulda's center.

Here are some additional event links in nearby cities:

The nearest cities where you can celebrate Līgo include:

  • Sigulda

  • Cēsis

  • Valmiera

  • Līgatne

  • Drusti

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