Ziemassvētki

This is the traditional Christmas holiday. Although now it is now celebrated on the evening of December 24th and during December 25th, it appears that it used to be a three-day celebration, beginning on the winter solstice (December 22nd).

The Latvian term Ziemassvētki literally means "Winter Festival": ziemas "of winter" + svētki "festival/holiday". Some of the customs associated with it are:

Latvian stamps showing Christmas "mummers":

Note: these days it is still common for children to be required to recite an appropriate verse before receipt of their presents. There are many, many Christmas verses (ziemassvētku pantiņi) to choose from. To see a small sample, please go to → Folk Songs about Christmas.


Country of Latvia | Travel in Latvia | Latvian Language | History of Latvia | Latvian Cuisine | Latvian Folklore and Folk Costumes | Latvian Music, Songs, and Dances


This page created and maintained by
A. Steinbergs

Last revised September 16, 2008