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. View Full Yearly Averages . [149] Per capita, Latvia is one of the largest contributors to international military operations. Severe spells of winter weather with cold winds, extreme temperatures of around −30 °C (−22 °F) and heavy snowfalls are common. [118], Latvia participates in the Northern Dimension and Baltic Sea Region Programme, European Union initiatives to foster cross-border co-operation in the Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe. [124][136][137], 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. 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,[24] some of whom (10.7% of Latvian residents[25]) have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all. [171], The transport sector is around 14% of GDP. [citation needed], A freely elected Constituent assembly convened on 1 May 1920, and adopted a liberal constitution, the Satversme, in February 1922. Latvia is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy [27][28] and ranks 39th in the Human Development Index. Swap your heavy winter boots for a pair of glittering heals at … At this time, songs often made fun of the characteristics of Soviet life and were concerned about preserving Latvian identity. [99], Approximately 30,000 species of flora and fauna have been registered in Latvia. Latvia's defence concept is based upon the Swedish-Finnish model of a rapid response force composed of a mobilisation base and a small group of career professionals. The 19th century and beginning of the 20th century is often regarded by Latvians as a classical era of Latvian culture. [55] A week later, on 1 September 1939, Germany and on 17 September, the Soviet Union invaded Poland. [22] Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic. [113] Joint Nordic-Baltic co-operation initiatives include the education programme NordPlus[114] and mobility programmes for public administration,[115] business and industry[116] and culture. [32], Around 3000 BC, the proto-Baltic ancestors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The unemployment rate has receded from its peak of more than 20 percent in 2010 to around 9.3 percent in 2014. However, there were not enough people to operate the newly built factories. Temperature chart displays the maximum, minimum and average temperature from 2008 on month by month basis. Representing 10.2% of Latvia's total foreign direct investment, American companies invested $127 million in 1999. [42], In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden, and Russia struggled for supremacy in the eastern Baltic. By the spring of 1919, there were actually three governments: the Provisional government headed by Kārlis Ulmanis, supported by Tautas padome and the Inter-Allied Commission of Control; the Latvian Soviet government led by Pēteris Stučka, supported by the Red Army; and the Provisional government headed by Andrievs Niedra and supported by the Baltische Landeswehr and the German Freikorps unit Iron Division. Currently, VEF Rīga, which competes in EuroCup, is the strongest professional basketball club in Latvia. Clear. This month should be avoided if you are not a big fan of rain. [172], The four biggest ports of Latvia are located in Riga, Ventspils, Liepāja and Skulte. [104], Several nature reserves protect unspoiled landscapes with a variety of large animals. Last updated: Sa, 12 Dec, 14:57 GMT. [78], However, the central power in Moscow continued to regard Latvia as a Soviet republic in 1990 and 1991. Mires occupy 9.9% of Latvia's territory. [93], The 2012 Environmental Performance Index ranks Latvia second, after Switzerland, based on the environmental performance of the country's policies. [145][146][147] It is part of the Nordic Transition Support Unit (NTSU), which renders joint force contributions in support of Afghan security structures ahead of the withdrawal of Nordic and Baltic ISAF forces in 2014. Latvia is historically predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. [117] The Nordic Council of Ministers has an office in Riga. [53] 30,000 Jews were shot in Latvia in the autumn of 1941. In the same year, the United States of America exported $58.2 million of goods and services to Latvia and imported $87.9 million. [citation needed] Latvia was one of the EuroBasket 2015 hosts. Temps nearly steady in the low to mid 30s. How sunny is it in Latvia in December? [55] In the north, Latvia, Finland and Estonia were assigned to the Soviet sphere. The sole official language of Latvia is Latvian, which belongs to the Baltic language sub-group of the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. 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. Latvia lies in Northern Europe, on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea and northwestern part of the East European Craton (EEC), between latitudes 55° and 58° N (a small area is north of 58°), and longitudes 21° and 29° E (a small area is west of 21°). Approximately 200 farms, occupying 2,750 ha (6,800 acres), are engaged in ecologically pure farming (using no artificial fertilizers or pesticides). Transit between Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan as well as other Asian countries and the West is large. Temperature decreases not sharp from 50°F to 32°F day by day during all this period. [4], The Saeima, Latvia's parliament, was again elected in 1993. The native dialect remained distinct, although it acquired many Polish and Russian loanwords. Rating agency Standard & Poor's raised its outlook on Latvia's debt from negative to stable. [208], During July 2014, Riga hosted the 8th World Choir Games as it played host to over 27,000 choristers representing over 450 choirs and over 70 countries. [56]:326 Between 136,000 and 190,000 Latvians, depending on the sources, were imprisoned or deported to Soviet concentration camps (the Gulag) in the post war years, from 1945 to 1952. and Sovieticised. [156] Following the introduction of the Euro, Eurobarometer surveys in January 2014 showed support for the Euro to be around 53%, close to the European average. In January 1991, Soviet political and military forces tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Republic of Latvia authorities by occupying the central publishing house in Riga and establishing a Committee of National Salvation to usurp governmental functions. Use escape to clear. Meanwhile, largely isolated from the rest of Latvia, southern Latgallians adopted Catholicism under Polish/Jesuit influence. [86][93], Latvia has the 5th highest proportion of land covered by forests in the European Union, after Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia. [citation needed] There also developed a growing urban proletariat and an increasingly influential Latvian bourgeoisie. [56]:271, More than 200,000 Latvian citizens died during World War II, including approximately 75,000 Latvian Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation. Select a month to view Latvia sunrise & sunset times for the next twelve months. [citation needed], During these two centuries Latvia experienced economic and construction boom – ports were expanded (Riga became the largest port in the Russian Empire), railways built; new factories, banks, and a University were established; many residential, public (theatres and museums), and school buildings were erected; new parks formed; and so on. [citation needed] In the 23rd block of the Vorverker cemetery, a monument was erected after the Second World War for the people of Latvia, who had died in Lübeck from 1945 to 1950. [citation needed], During the Great Northern War (1700–1721), up to 40 percent of Latvians died from famine and plague. The 100-seat unicameral Latvian parliament, the Saeima, is elected by direct popular vote every four years. [212] Rupjmaize is a dark bread made from rye, considered the national staple.[213][214]. [38], At the beginning of the 13th century, Germans ruled large parts of what is currently Latvia. [78], In spite of this, 73% of all Latvian residents confirmed their strong support for independence on 3 March 1991, in a non-binding advisory referendum. The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. From 1 January 2007, Latvia switched to a professional fully contract-based army. On 1 July 2016, Latvia became a member of the OECD.[82]. Children born to non-nationals after the reestablishment of independence are automatically entitled to citizenship. [37] The local people, however, did not convert to Christianity as readily as the Church had hoped. While it is now required that all school students learn Latvian, schools also include English, German, French and Russian in their curricula. [96], Latvia has a long tradition of conservation. [citation needed], Several species of flora and fauna are considered national symbols. In 1944, part of the Latvian territory once more came under Soviet control. On 18 November 1918, in Riga, the People's Council of Latvia proclaimed the independence of the new country, with Kārlis Ulmanis becoming the head of the provisional government. The total length of its land boundary is 1,368 km (850 mi), of which 343 km (213 mi) is shared with Estonia to the north, 276 km (171 mi) with the Russian Federation to the east, 161 km (100 mi) with Belarus to the southeast and 588 km (365 mi) with Lithuania to the south. After the Polish–Swedish War, northern Livonia (including Vidzeme) came under Swedish rule. The president appoints a prime minister who, together with his cabinet, forms the executive branch of the government, which has to receive a confidence vote by the Saeima. [56]:32, After the conclusion of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, most of the Baltic Germans left Latvia by agreement between Ulmanis' government and Nazi Germany under the Heim ins Reich programme. Browse the sunrise & sunset times for Latvia in December 2020. [citation needed] The Popular Front of Latvia advocated that all permanent residents be eligible for Latvian citizenship, helping to sway many ethnic Russians to vote for independence. [164][2] The largest groups as of 2011[update] were: In the Eurobarometer Poll 2010, 38% of Latvian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", while 48% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 11% stated that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force". [citation needed] In the course of the war, both occupying forces conscripted Latvians into their armies, in this way increasing the loss of the nation's "live resources". Andris Biedriņš is one of the most well-known Latvian basketball players, who played in the NBA for the Golden State Warriors and the Utah Jazz. Select a destination to see more weather parameters. The Latvian SSR, along with the other Baltic Republics was allowed greater autonomy, and in 1988, the old pre-war Flag of Latvia flew again, replacing the Soviet Latvian flag as the official flag in 1990. Big European events have been celebrated in Riga such as the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 and the European Film Awards 2014. Under Swedish and largely German rule, western Latvia adopted Lutheranism as its main religion. [204], Between the 13th and 19th centuries, Baltic Germans, many of whom were originally of non-German ancestry but had been assimilated into German culture, formed the upper class. Find out more about our data sources. [53], On 25 March 1949, 43,000 rural residents ("kulaks") and Latvian nationalists were deported to Siberia in a sweeping Operation Priboi in all three Baltic states, which was carefully planned and approved in Moscow already on 29 January 1949. [19] Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages. Instead, citizenship was granted to persons who had been citizens of Latvia at the day of loss of independence at 1940 as well as their descendants. A full member of the Eurozone, it began using the euro as its currency on 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats. By 1959 about 400,000 Russian settlers arrived and the ethnic Latvian population had fallen to 62%.[72]. There are normally 1 hour of bright sunshine each day in Riga, Latvia in December - that's 12% of daylight hours. The borders of historical and cultural regions usually are not explicitly defined and in several sources may vary. Lutheranism was more prominent before the Soviet occupation, when it was a majority religion of ~60% due to strong historical links with the Nordic countries and to the influence of the Hansa in particular and Germany in general. Spring and autumn bring fairly mild weather. Latvia closed 131 schools between 2006 and 2010, which is a 12.9% decline, and in the same period enrolment in educational institutions has fallen by over 54,000 people, a 10.3% decline. 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). Extension from north to south is 210 km (130 mi) and from west to east 450 km (280 mi). Latvia has pleasant weather in summer and it gets pretty cold in winter. May The festival takes place at the Latvian National Opera, the Great Guild, and the Great and Small Halls of the Dzintari Concert Hall. [193] About 21% of the total population is not affiliated with a specific religion.[2]. Affiliations of the areas that comprise modern Latvia in historical & regional context: Latvia lies in Northern Europe, on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea and northwestern part of the East European Craton (EEC), between latitudes 55° and 58° N (a small area is north of 58°), and longitudes 21° and 29° E (a small area is west of 21°). Mar The climate is cold and temperate. Common ingredients in Latvian recipes are found locally, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs, and pork. Dec. There are normally 1 hour of bright sunshine each day in Riga, Latvia in December - that's 12% of daylight hours. High Temp: 74 °F. Latvians march to commemorate SS veterans, "Opinion | Latvia opens its KGB archives — while Russia continues to whitewash its past", "Stories of Statelessness: Latvia and Estonia – IBELONG", "Emotion and Blame in Collective Action: Russian Voice in Kyrgyzstan and Latvia", "Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey 2012 Buildings, roads and other artificial areas cover 5% of the EU …and forests 40%", "Gauja National Park travel – Lonely Planet", "2012 Environmental Performance Index (EPI)", "Ecological Footprint Accounting for Countries: Updates and Results of the National Footprint Accounts, 2012-2018", "Латвийская более или менее официальная символика", Constitution of the Republic of Latvia with amendments and revisions, "Diplomatic and Consular Representations", "A foreign policy based on co-operation and constructive engagement", "Estonian Chairmanship of the Baltic Council of Ministers in 2011", "Co-operation of Baltic and Nordic States", "Nordic-Baltic mobility programme for public administration", "Nordic-Baltic Mobility and Network Programme for Business and Industry", "Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia", "Nordic Council of Ministers is looking for a Senior Adviser to run the Secretariat of Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture", "Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe (e-PINE)", "The Economist Intelligence Unit's Index of Democracy 2008", "Statistics of the Human Development Report", Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Latvia. The length of Latvia's Baltic coastline is 494 km (307 mi). Latvia and the United States have signed treaties on investment, trade, and intellectual property protection and avoidance of double taxation.[162][163]. [198], The Latvian healthcare system is a universal programme, largely funded through government taxation. By forests, dunes, and Norway spruce Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Body of European for. In 2015 Latvia held the presidency of the OECD. [ 151 ] and. ( NDPC ) will be located in Riga. [ 82 ] sunny, with extremes of 35 (! Ruled large parts of what is currently incompatible with European Standard gauge.. The centre during the 19th century, Germans ruled large parts of what is currently incompatible with Standard. Typical Latvian landscape, a semi-autonomous Body within the Russian Orthodox Church, a semi-autonomous Body within the Russian Orchestra!, Latvia each destination, Easyvoyage 's weather for Riga, Riga, Latvia switched a... 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