Latvia's symbols - River Daugava, amber and oak
Hello, its Giulia again! Let me tell you a bit about Latvia’s most popular symbols today! Latvia is a country who really cares about its tradition and culture. Indeed, in Riga, its capital city, you can take part in several events built up in order to celebrate the most important days and festivities, or to admire the architectural monuments that call significant days as well! Latvia has many symbols that refer to the most important events, festivities and more! For example, since I have arrived here, I noticed that many men and women have always flowers. At the very beginning I thought it was because of women’s day since I have arrived around that day but, actually, they carry flowers every day and every night! I still have to figure out why, because I am not able to tell you.
Anyway, here are the most important Latvia’s symbols!
THE FREEDOM MONUMENT
Flowers are usually let in front of this monument, built in 1935 thanks to the nation’s donated funds. For Latvians, it is independence and freedom symbol and despite the war and occupation time, the monument is still there in front of the Old Town. It refers to the homeland and to freedom, as the engraved poetry songs written at the base of it. Freedom Monument is 42 meters high and on the highest part, there is the statue (9 meters high), nationally called Milda, which rises up three stars that recall the three Latvian regions.
Called “Mother Daugava,'' it is popularly known as the eastern divinity. Born in Russia, Daugava flows in Byelorussia and it ends in Latvia, dividing Riga it 2 parts. It is 1020 km long, but it flows 352 km in Latvia. Of course, in the past it was used for the transport and, still today, it is one of the most important energy sources. If you walk on the bridge, you can see Latvian people practicing some water sports in summer in the city thanks to the presence of this river in Riga's central part. This stream had an important role also in the romantic age when it was considered river of destiny and mother of the population. To its beauty and nature poets have sung their lines.
National Latvian flower is the daisy, which starts to grow in June, exactly when the midsummer festival is about to be celebrated. Traditionally, women collect flowers in the green area and have to weave crowns (wreaths) that they have to wear during the festivity! Daisy grows until September and, besides midsummer are used to create colorful bouquet and presents.
Amber is a resin that solidifies and it has not a precise color, indeed it has many shades, from brown to red. It is considered to be the Baltic gold since it is possible to find this only in these three countries. Amber is widely used to create jewels and decorative objects.The legend tells that these splinters are from a castle located on the ocean floor. The castle is thought to be the house of marine divinity who, in love with a fisherman, was punished by another divinity! So, Amber has legendary meaning, which is the tormented love!
OAK AND LINDEN
Oak represents the masculine power while linden the feminine one. These trees are characteristic of the Latvian landscape and they were very important in the past (and even nowadays) when they were used for medical purposes, indeed they were usually quoted in tales and short stories.
Since I am here in Latvia, the most notable symbol has been the Amber and I am quite sure that I will buy some jewels before leaving, both for my parents and friends. And I think about making a tattoo - one of the Latvian symbols always remember my stay in Latvia!