2020.05.04 12:32

Latvians celebrate independence day from homes 2020.05.04 12:32

Amid the coronavirus epidemic, Latvia is celebrating its 30th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union more quietly than usual.

Due to the state of emergency, there are no big public events for Latvia's Independence Restoration Day this year, but Latvians were invited to mark the occasion at home by decorating their windows with celebratory messages, BNN reports.

“This year, thirty years since the adoption of the Declaration On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, [...] the celebration will be different,” the country's Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis was quoted by BNN on Saturday.

“We will not meet each other in person and will not celebrate with friends. Instead, we have the option to create a special atmosphere at home, put a heartfelt congratulation in the window to greet other people, or use the time to find out more about the National Awakening,” he added.

The Republic of Latvia was proclaimed in the wake of World War One on November 18, 1918, but the country was occupied by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany during World War Two.

On May 4, 1990, Latvia's parliament declared the country independent from the Soviet Union. It took several more years for the country to transition to democracy, culminating in the free elections to the Saeima in 1993.

Take a look at a gallery of photos from 1990 on the website Latvia's public broadcaster.

Lithuania's President Gitanas Nausėda congratulated the neighbouring country with the anniversary.

“This year, both Lithuania and Latvia mark anniversaries of outstanding historical significance: 30 years of their re-established statehood,” Nauseda wrote in his message.

“Today we delight not only in our hard-fought freedom, but also in very close collaboration at the bilateral level as well as within the European Union and NATO as we work to consolidate national independence,” he said.

“The common history that Lithuania and Latvia share binds us in strong commitment. We cherish freedom and together we defend it to safeguard the security and welfare of our people.”