Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Celebrating New Year in Riga...

Laimīgu Jauno Gadu! Happy New Year, everyone! All the best wishes for 2008...

I was in Riga for New Year this time. The big difference from America is that it's easy to buy fireworks for private use in Latvia (in contrast, some US states that ban private use of fireworks entirely, because of safety concerns).

So, in addition to the government-organized fireworks in the center of Riga, we have many smaller ones throughout the city, when people fire up the things they've purchased, from ground or from their windows. And it makes the New Year sky quite colourful.

In the predominantly-Russian suburbs of Riga (like the one in which I'm living), we actually see fireworks twice. First, at midnight Moscow time (since some people are watching New Year broadcasts on Moscow channels via cable or satellite). This corresponds to 11pm Riga time. Then, second time, at midnight Riga time.

In mid-1990s, my suburb would see roughly equal amounts of fireworks at 11pm and midnight. This year, there was a bit at 11pm but much less than it used to be. But, at the actual midnight, the spontaneous fireworks continued for an entire half an hour. Does New Year Moscow time no longer matter to people in Riga, even if their native language is Russian? Maybe...

And, after watching our new president Zatlers give a New Year speech, I'm quite sure that he needs some lessons in public speaking.

1 comment:

James said...

I'm going to celebrate 2012 in Ryga.

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