Latvian celebration of Lāčplēsis Day and Independence Day

The state of Latvia was proclaimed on 18th November 1918. However, its existence had to be defended against the supporters of former German and Russian empires and the Red Army of the Soviet Russia. This military conflict was later named the Latvian War of Independence.

The period between the Proclamation of the Independent Republic of Latvia on 18th November 1918 and 11th November 1919 was one of the most complicated periods in Latvia’s history as battles were still raging for the independence of the newly-born country. Only in 1919, it became clear that Latvia is genuinely independent when the Russian Army was driven from Riga during the Latvian War of Independence. A significant fact - the Latvian fighters were less in number and worse equipped than their opponents. They are deemed to have earned victory thanks to their bravery and heroic spirit, the support of the Allies, as well as the lack of initiative and poor organization of the Russian Army.

Following all COVID-19 restrictions introduced by the Estonian government, there was still an opportunity to celebrate the most important day for Latvians, the 18th November independence day. During patriotic week Latvian students and faculty collected donations for National Defence and Patriotism Foundation “NAMEJS”. The aim is to support veterans who have served in the Latvian National Armed Forces and their families. Donors received a unique pin with a ribbon.


This year, precisely on 18th November, Latvian Senior National Representative COL Dzintars Roga on behalf of the BALTDEFCOL Latvian contingent, invited all the Baltic Defence college staff, Senior National Representatives (SNRs), Course Participants’ National Representatives, and Latvian JCGSC participants to a reception. On this day, BALTDEFCOL hosted the visit of the Ambassador of Latvia to Estonia H.E. Raimonds Jansons.


The event was opened by COL Dzintars Roga outlining why 18th November is so significant to each Latvian. Afterward, the Ambassador of Latvia to Estonia H.E. Raimonds Jansons delivered the speech, followed by the singing of the Republic of Latvia’s anthem. BALTDEFCOL Commandant BGl Ilmar Tamm told final concise kind words.


After official speeches, a cozy reception with special treats from Latvia was enjoyed.


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