Countries of the Baltic Sea Region celebrate Ancient Bonfire Night

On 25 August Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the other countries of the Baltic Sea Region in celebrating Ancient Bonfire Night and encouraging citizens to care for the Baltic Sea and cleanliness of its coastal territories. On Ancient Bonfire Night, everyone living in the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea is invited to light bonfires along the seashore to symbolise our commitment and care for the Baltic Sea.

This year the event organisers wish to draw attention to the problems of the Baltic Sea and its fragile coastal ecology. Large areas of the Baltic Sea have become dead zones where almost nothing can survive—human-generated pollution has resulted in the spread of fast-growing algae that starve other marine flora and fauna of oxygen.

In Lithuania this year's symbolic "Ancient bonfire night - the century's rifts" is dedicated to the heroes who have created, safeguard statehood traditions and fought for Lithuania's freedom and independence. The Palanga bridge will be decorated by Lithuanian and Latvian flags, different concerts by local musicians gruops and other cultural activities are beign organised along the Lithuanian coastline - in Klaipėda, Palanga, Neringa, Šventoje, and elsewhere.

In Latvia Special concerts with musical programmes performed by the Youth Symphony Orchestra are being organised for Liepāja, Kolka, Roja, Saulkrasti, Salacgrīva, Rīga, and elsewhere. This year in Latvia the event is part of the Mana Jūra (My Sea) campaign, a precursor to coastal clean-up activites planned for September that have the goal of gifting Latvia 500 km of clean and well-tended sea coast on the occasion of the State Centenary.

In Estonia Ancient Bonfire Night takes place within The Estonia 100 Grand Celebration Week which will end with the magical night of ancient bonfires not only along the Baltic Sea shore but elswehere in the country as well.

Our ancestors lit bonfires on the shores of the Baltic Sea to communicate with seafarers and with their neighbours. The oldest written evidence regarding news sent by means of bonfire in the Baltic Sea region date back to the age of the Vikings. Each year, thousands of people gather along the sea coast on the last Saturday of August to commemorate these ancient fires and to celebrate Ancient Bonfire Night. This tradition was reborn in 1992 in the Finnish town of Turku, and soon became hugely popular in the other countries bordering the Baltic Sea. This event has been held on the last Saturday of August in Latvia for more than a decade.

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