The largest city in Latvia is Riga, the second largest city is Daugavpils and the third largest city is Liepaja.  Latvian armed forces contributed to a UK-led Battlegroup in 2013 and the Nordic Battlegroup in 2015 under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union. Popular discontent exploded in the 1905 Russian Revolution, which took a nationalist character in the Baltic provinces.  A class of independent farmers established itself after reforms allowed the peasants to repurchase their land, but many landless peasants remained.  Its capital and largest city is Riga; other notable major cities in Latvia are Daugavpils, Liepāja, Jelgava and Jūrmala.  Latvia was one of the EuroBasket 2015 hosts. All of the minority schools (Jewish, Polish, Belarusian, Estonian, Lithuanian) were closed down leaving only two media of instructions in the schools: Latvian and Russian.  As of 2004 there were more than 600 Latvian neopagans, Dievturi (The Godskeepers), whose religion is based on Latvian mythology. Rural areas were forced into collectivization. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule (1710–1918) and later Soviet occupation, 26.9% of the population of Latvia are ethnic Russians, some of whom (10.7% of Latvian residents) have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all. Maximum daytime temperature: 0 degrees Celsius; Minimum nighttime temperature: -2 degrees Celsius. airBaltic is the Latvian flag carrier airline and a low-cost carrier with hubs in all three Baltic States, but main base in Riga, Latvia. There are plenty of concerts and cultural events going on during the winter (see Music Festivals in Latvia), and it's always fun to go gallery hopping and shopping in the boutiques of Riga. Pro-independence Popular Front of Latvia candidates gained a two-thirds majority in the Supreme Council in the March 1990 democratic elections.  However, Rail Baltica railway, linking Helsinki-Tallinn-Riga-Kaunas-Warsaw is under construction and is set to be completed in 2026. , The share of ethnic Latvians had fallen from 77% (1,467,035) in 1935 to 52% (1,387,757) in 1989. Latvian food is generally quite fatty, and uses few spices. The Latvia sunrise & sunset times shown below are for Riga.  The population of Latvia reached its peak in 1990 at just under 2.7 million people. , Latvian civilian experts have contributed to EU civilian missions: border assistance mission to Moldova and Ukraine (2005–2009), rule of law missions in Iraq (2006 and 2007) and Kosovo (since 2008), police mission in Afghanistan (since 2007) and monitoring mission in Georgia (since 2008). Aug Latvia has had many European basketball stars like Jānis Krūmiņš, Maigonis Valdmanis, Valdis Muižnieks, Valdis Valters, Igors Miglinieks, as well as the first Latvian NBA player Gundars Vētra. , Latvia operates Inčukalns underground gas storage facility, one of the largest underground gas storage facilities in Europe and the only one in the Baltic states.  There were 59 hospitals in Latvia in 2009, down from 94 in 2007 and 121 in 2006.  Free port of Ventspils is one of the busiest ports in the Baltic states. As a result, Latvia is running a biocapacity reserve.  According to the Central Election Commission, 74.8% voted against, 24.9% voted for and the voter turnout was 71.1%. Latvia has established diplomatic relations with 158 countries. Rain may fall as snow in this month.  According to statistics in late 2013, 45% of the population supported the introduction of the euro, while 52% opposed it. However, most indigenous Latvians did not participate in this particular cultural life. , During the Great Northern War (1700–1721), up to 40 percent of Latvians died from famine and plague.  Most sources count 200,000 to 250,000 refugees leaving Latvia, with perhaps as many as 80,000 to 100,000 of them recaptured by the Soviets or, during few months immediately after the end of war, returned by the West. Feb  In the north, Latvia, Finland and Estonia were assigned to the Soviet sphere.  There are 706 specially state-level protected natural areas in Latvia: four national parks, one biosphere reserve, 42 nature parks, nine areas of protected landscapes, 260 nature reserves, four strict nature reserves, 355 nature monuments, seven protected marine areas and 24 microreserves.  Latvians and Livonians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvia's railway network is currently incompatible with European standard gauge lines. This month should be avoided if you are not a big fan of rain. , In some cities, e.g., Daugavpils and Rēzekne, ethnic Latvians constitute a minority of the total population. Amber, fossilized tree resin, is one of Latvia's most important cultural symbols. Mires occupy 9.9% of Latvia's territory. The Baltic Council is the joint forum of the interparliamentary Baltic Assembly (BA) and the intergovernmental Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM). The prices of real estate, which were at some points growing by approximately 5% a month, were long perceived to be too high for the economy, which mainly produces low-value goods and raw materials. Pope Celestine III had called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193. , Beginning in 2019, instruction in Russian language will be gradually discontinued in private colleges and universities in Latvia, as well as general instruction in Latvian public high schools, except for subjects related to culture and history of the Russian minority, such as Russian language and literature classes.. The University of Daugavpils is another significant centre of education. The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. More than 1.2 million texts and 30,000 melodies of folk songs have been identified. The last month of the winter, February, is another freezing cold month in Riga, Latvia, with average temperature fluctuating between -7.6°C (18.3°F) and -1.7°C (28.9°F).In Riga, the average high-temperature is relatively the same as in January - a still subzero cold -1.7°C (28.9°F). The war of independence that followed was part of a general chaotic period of civil and new border wars in Eastern Europe. Winter is cold and dark: temperatures are often below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F), and landscapes are usually snow-covered from December to mid-March.  In 2017 there were 1 054 433 female and 895 683 male living in Latvian territory. In 2012, 45.0% of births were to unmarried women.  Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB-8) is the joint co-operation of the governments of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.  In April 2010 Latvia had the highest unemployment rate in the EU, at 22.5%, ahead of Spain, which had 19.7%..  Latvia's current account, which had been in deficit by 27% in late 2006 was in surplus in February 2010. New airline routes & holiday destinations for 2021, Your ultimate guide to 14 major Baltic & Nordic ports, Beyond caffeine: the fascinating coffee cultures of the world, Kiwi.com: Book flexible flight, train & bus tickets, VRBO: Holiday rentals with free cancellation, Booking.com sale: at least 30% off UK hotels, Where to go in 2021: Top destinations to rediscover travel, Where to go on holiday in February for the best weather, Where to book family holidays with free child places, Where to go on holiday in January for the best weather, coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for Latvia, Travelzoo: Top offers with fully refundable vouchers, Green Motion: up to 25% off with loyalty programme, Save on hotels, restaurants, spas & more with Travelzoo, Book online with fully refundable vouchers, Filter vouchers by theme, price, type & more, Become a Green Motion loyalty member for FREE, Save up to 25% on future car rentals + extra offers, Discount varies by membership tier & number of rentals. , Although the local people had contact with the outside world for centuries, they became more fully integrated into the European socio-political system in the 12th century. Most transit traffic uses these and half the cargo is crude oil and oil products. Coordinates: 57°N 25°E / 57°N 25°E / 57; 25, – in Europe (green & dark grey)– in the European Union (green) – [Legend]. Children born to non-nationals after the reestablishment of independence are automatically entitled to citizenship. Since independence, theatre, scenography, choir music, and classical music have become the most notable branches of Latvian culture. , Latvia's foreign policy priorities include co-operation in the Baltic Sea region, European integration, active involvement in international organisations, contribution to European and transatlantic security and defence structures, participation in international civilian and military peacekeeping operations, and development co-operation, particularly the strengthening of stability and democracy in the EU's Eastern Partnership countries. Transit between Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan as well as other Asian countries and the West is large. In a typical Latvian landscape, a mosaic of vast forests alternates with fields, farmsteads, and pastures. , In 1989, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a resolution on the Occupation of the Baltic states, in which it declared the occupation "not in accordance with law", and not the "will of the Soviet people".  Joint Nordic-Baltic co-operation initiatives include the education programme NordPlus and mobility programmes for public administration, business and industry and culture. , The National Armed Forces (Latvian: Nacionālie Bruņotie Spēki (NAF)) of Latvia consists of the Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Force, National Guard, Special Tasks Unit, Military Police, NAF staff Battalion, Training and Doctrine Command, and Logistics Command. Meanwhile, largely isolated from the rest of Latvia, southern Latgallians adopted Catholicism under Polish/Jesuit influence. Arable land is spotted with birch groves and wooded clusters, which afford a habitat for numerous plants and animals. 'The publication, which followed two decades of public debate and the passage of a special law, revealed the names, code names, birthplaces and other data on active and former KGB agents as of 1991, the year Latvia regained its independence from the Soviet Union.  In November 2012, the three countries agreed to create a joint military staff in 2013.  The rise in use of the Latvian language in literature and society became known as the First National Awakening. The average sea temperature around Riga, Latvia in December is 1°C.  The first missionaries, sent by the Pope, sailed up the Daugava River in the late 12th century, seeking converts. They promoted Latvian culture and encouraged Latvians to take part in cultural activities. Get the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for Latvia with current travel advice, statistics and online resources. The 2006 IIHF World Championship was held in Riga. Dec.  Since Latvia's independence in 1918, it has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. Winter is also the time to enjoy the Christmas markets, and evenings by a crackling fire with some warm drinks and good music. Currently, VEF Rīga, which competes in EuroCup, is the strongest professional basketball club in Latvia. , Access to biocapacity in Latvia is much higher than world average. Statistical regions of Latvia, established in accordance with the EU Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics, duplicate this division, but divides Riga region into two parts with the capital alone being a separate region. Municipal roads in Latvia totals 30 439 km of roads and 8039 km of streets. Latvia's highest point is Gaiziņkalns, 311.6 m (1,022 ft). , Latvia has over 12,500 rivers, which stretch for 38,000 km (24,000 mi). The warmest month is July with an average maximum temperature of 22°C (71°F). The ancient tribes of the Couronians, Semigallians, Selonians, Livs, and northern Latgallians assimilated to form the Latvian people, speaking one Latvian language. In 2016, Latvia had 8.5 global hectares of biocapacity per person within its territory, much more than the world average of 1.6 global hectares per person. Latvian is the official language. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, with an estimated 600,000 members in 1956, was affected most adversely. The secretariat of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) will be located in Riga. , The economic crisis of 2009 proved earlier assumptions that the fast-growing economy was heading for implosion of the economic bubble, because it was driven mainly by growth of domestic consumption, financed by a serious increase of private debt, as well as a negative foreign trade balance. Oct , In the post-war period, Latvia was made to adopt Soviet farming methods. At Pape Nature Reserve, where European bison, wild horses, and recreated aurochs have been reintroduced, there is now an almost complete Holocene megafauna also including moose, deer, and wolf.. 250 people identify as Livonians (Baltic Finnic people native to Latvia). Riga, Riga, Latvia - Monthly weather averages including average high and low Temperature, Precipitation, Pressure, Wind Charts to assist you in planning your travel, holiday or an outdoor activity at Riga, Latvia There were 290,660 "non-citizens" living in Latvia or 14.1% of Latvian residents, mainly Russian settlers who arrived after the occupation of 1940 and their descendants. Now Today Tomorrow 3 days 10 days ... Siberian primrose has not had time to adapt to climate change. Latvia had its own film industry and musical records factory (LPs). Rating agency Standard & Poor's raised its outlook on Latvia's debt from negative to stable. Other popular sports include football, floorball, tennis, volleyball, cycling, bobsleigh and skeleton. Summers are usually warm and sunny, with cool evenings and nights.  Forests account for 3,497,000 ha (8,640,000 acres) or 56% of the total land area. Take a look at the seven-day weather forecast for the principal cities inLatvia.  Other important universities, which were established on the base of State University of Latvia, include the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (established in 1939 on the basis of the Faculty of Agriculture) and Riga Stradiņš University (established in 1950 on the basis of the Faculty of Medicine). Most of the Hindus are local converts from the work of the Hare Krishna movement; some are foreign workers from India. Climate in Latvia in december Climate in Riga in december. The major goals of Latvia in the 1990s, to join NATO and the European Union, were achieved in 2004. Sep In the summer of 1988, a national movement, coalescing in the Popular Front of Latvia, was opposed by the Interfront. , Since March 2004, when the Baltic states joined NATO, fighter jets of NATO members have been deployed on a rotational basis for the Baltic Air Policing mission at Šiauliai Airport in Lithuania to guard the Baltic airspace. Russian, which was widely spoken during the Soviet period, is still the most widely used minority language by far (in 2011, 34% spoke it at home, including people who were not ethnically Russian).  Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic.  This operation had the desired effect of reducing the anti Soviet partisan activity. Capital city Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Sunrise: 08:55; … Under Swedish and largely German rule, western Latvia adopted Lutheranism as its main religion. The country has a temperate seasonal climate. , Traditional Latvian folklore, especially the dance of the folk songs, dates back well over a thousand years. This year features the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra.  Common species of wildlife in Latvia include deer, wild boar, moose, lynx, bear, fox, beaver and wolves. , 2019 was the warmest year in the history of weather observation in Latvia with an average temperature +8.1°C higher. The University of Latvia and Riga Technical University are two major universities in the country, both established on the basis of[clarification needed] Riga Polytechnical Institute and located in Riga. After centuries of Swedish, Polish-Lithuanian and Russian rule, a rule mainly executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away from the Russian Empire and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I.  An influx of new colonists, including laborers, administrators, military personnel and their dependents from Russia and other Soviet republics started. The first laws and regulations were promulgated in the 16th and 17th centuries. Saint Meinhard of Segeberg arrived in Ikšķile, in 1184, traveling with merchants to Livonia, on a Catholic mission to convert the population from their original pagan beliefs. The winter in Latvia usually lasts from mid-December to the beginning of March. Latvia has had many famous hockey stars like Helmuts Balderis, Artūrs Irbe, Kārlis Skrastiņš and Sandis Ozoliņš and more recently Zemgus Girgensons, whom the Latvian people have strongly supported in international and NHL play, expressed through the dedication of using the NHL's All Star Voting to bring Zemgus to number one in voting. Posters show the influence of other European cultures, for example, works of artists such as the Baltic-German artist Bernhard Borchert and the French Raoul Dufy. In 2017, Latvian tennis player Jeļena Ostapenko won the 2017 French Open Women's singles title being the first unseeded player to do so in the open era. The most successful Olympic athlete in the history of independent Latvia has been Māris Štrombergs, who became a two-time Olympic champion in 2008 and 2012 at Men's BMX.. State administrators were liquidated and replaced by Soviet cadres. 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