The biggest European nationalist torchlight march annually takes place in Riga, Latvia, on 18th of November. 18 thousands of patriots with slogans “We are Latvians!” and “Latvia is ours!” took part in Latvian Independence day torchlight march this year. The march is organized by government party National Alliance “All for Latvia!” – “For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK”.
The event has been held for 15 years annually, and each year it unites an even greater number of people, among them mostly young people and families with children. Regarding the overall number of Latvians (a little bit more than one million) and overall population of Latvia (less than 2 millions), the size of the nationalist march in Riga is remarkable. That is probably the reason for Kremlin supporters and media and liberals to be deeply worried about this phenomena.
A tradition of the torchlight procession is to start the event with a brief concert with several artists performing well-known traditional and patriotic songs at the square near the monument of Karlis Ulmanis. The choice of the venue is rather symbolic since Ulmanis was the first prime minister of Latvia. Raivis Dzintars, the leader of the National Alliance, delivered a speech addressing the people who had gathered at the place of the event and expressed his joy to witness the national self-confidence of Latvians grow and the Latvian nation to be aware of the irreplaceable values that they have inherited from their founding fathers. As soon as the musical performances were over, everyone lighted their torches and the broad “river of fire” began to flow towards Old Riga and up to the Monument of Freedom. At the pedestal of the monument the torchlight flames carried by thousands of Latvian patriots blazed in a sea of fire lightening up the words carved in the Monument of Freedom – “For Fatherland and Freedom”.
The official video from the awesome Latvian Independence day torchlight march: