In February, Latvians celebrate one of their traditional calendar festivals Meteņi – a celebration dedicated to bidding farewell to the winter and welcoming the spring. Special folk songs are sung on this day, with people going out in merry song and dance to greet friends and neighbours. Together with local folklore groups, Meteņi is celebrated also in Turaida Museum Reserve on 16th February.
As in many other traditional Latvian celebrations, people dress in national costume during Meteņi, however, masks are also worn during the festive procession.
One of the most important rituals during Meteņi is taking a ride – either on a sled, a horse drawn carriage, or even skating on a pond. According to belief, people must take a ride on Meteņi in order to ensure a good harvest.
Meteņi usually falls in February, on the seventh Tuesday before Easter. However, in modern times, Meteņi is usually celebrated on the weekend.
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