Day of the Restoration of Latvian Independence

Day of the Restoration of Latvian Independence (Latvian: Latvijas Republikas Neatkarības atjaunošanas diena) is a Latvian national holiday and event, being celebrated annually on 4 May. It marks, like the other Baltic republics, the restoration of the Latvian Republic declaration by the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR on 4 May 1990. This was the official declaration of the Restoration of Independence, and the actual one, that brought also the international recognition, was adopted as a constitutional law "On the Statehood of the Republic of Latvia" by Latvian Supreme Council on 21 August 1991, a day after the Restoration Act of Estonia during August coup. Soviet Union recognised Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania as independent states on 6 September 1991. Russian SFSR did so already on 24 August 1991.[1][2]

Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Bērziņš, Speaker of Saeima Jānis Straume, President of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga and Prime Minister Andris Bērziņš (from left to right) laying flowers at the foot of Freedom Monument to commemorating Day of the Restoration of Latvian Independence in 2002


The Freedom Celebration or the 4 May Freedom Celebration is an annual military parade in Latvia which has been held since 2012 in honor of the Day of the Restoration of Latvian Independence. It is one of the main events of the day. The parade is usually the first of two full military parades held per year in the country, with the other being held on 11 November, Lāčplēsis Day (Latvian: Lāčplēša diena), the commemoration day for soldiers who fought for the independence of Latvia. Every year, the parade is held in various Latvian cities outside of the capital of Riga.[3] The parade usually starts at 11:00 am and typically involves around between 500-1,000 troops of the Latvian National Armed Forces, including personnel representing the Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, State Border Guard, Special Tasks Unit, Military Police and military academies. Being a NATO member, the parade also features military servicemen from NATO countries such as the United States, Canada and Germany. The following is a list of parades by year:

If the holiday is on a weekend date, the following Monday is an observance date. As per the Riga celebrations, a flower laying ceremony is always held at the capital's Freedom Monument.

The NAF Staff Band at a flower laying ceremony at the Freedom Monument in 2016.

In 2016 an initiative called "White Tablecloth Day" (Latvian: Baltā galdauta diena) was launched by the Ministry of Culture in context of Latvian Centennial celebration (2018) inviting people of all communities to gather around a table and celebrate together. The goal of White Tablecloth Celebration is to strengthen the tradition of gathering family, friends, neighbours, and communities around the table on 4 May to consciously celebrate our country and honour those who helped to create and protect it. We generate the feeling of celebration together on White Tablecloth Day as each person brings something to add to the table and to the conversation. White Tablecloth Day is a reminder that the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Latvia was the result of relentless action, courage and audacity of certain individuals. [9]


  1. ^ "The 20th Anniversary of the Restored Independence of the Republic of Latvia: Documents on the Recognition of the Restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia, and Diplomatic Relations, 1991".
  2. ^ "Latvia Celebrates 24th Anniversary of de Facto Restoration of Independence". 21 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Latvia marks restoration of independence day". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Ministry of Defence". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  5. ^ "Latvia: Independence Day festivities May 4". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  6. ^ "May 4 military parade for Madona". LSM. 2018-05-02. Archived from the original on 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
  7. ^ "Bruņoto spēku parāde Madonā. Tiešraides arhīvs". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  8. ^ "Speech by President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis before the military parade in Madona | Website of the President of Latvia". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  9. ^ "Latvia celebrates restoration of independence day". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2018.

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