Winter ball, Riga,
26 December 2003
The annual Winter ball in the Ethnographical open-air museum already became
irreplaceable and awaited event of the Riga folklore life. Already from the
name is perceptible, that the ball does not apply for an exact reflection
of the traditional festivities, however, it offers to people a joyful
hullabaloo, uniting in it a music, songs, dances, a romanticism of bonfire
As against the previous years, there was no snow, and therefore in the museum
was too dark and dank.
Already at entrance, in the Pub of Pine, a show was showed.
Many buildings of the museum were open, heated up and filled by a light of candles,
lanterns and hearths.
In the Courland courtyard it was possible to observe a manufacturing of straw
decorations. There must perform two groups: Dandari and
Unfortunately, Baļķi have not appeared, therefore Dandari have
worked for both.
Dandari' musicians Ilmārs and Zane
Dandari' musicians, represented by only two persons, a violin and
a mandoline or small zither player, sounded very pleasant.
It is possible to see trough the window the dancing of Dandari
In the Nida house has singed bard Austra Pumpure, and her fans singed together
Near the smithy worked a smith and trainees. On the other side of the road
it was possible to taste some hot beer.
A teacher already works
In the building of the Zemgalian school a teacher teached to spell. It sounds
like something boring, however, the way it was done was so charming and full of
jokes, that it became a fascinating show.
Andris Gobiņš with his "schoolchild"
In the Liflandian courtyard burned a fire, above which in a large copper was
cooked a tea. Not far of it, in the Liflandian threshing barn, were classes
of casting of candles - there was a smoke and a strong smell of wax in it.
Musicians of The Riga Dance club
On the stage near Liflandian courtyard have performed folklore ensembles, and a
half an each hour
the Riga Dance club
have showed folk dances. At the dancing place was a slippery dirt, but, thank god,
dancers not once have not falled down to it. The dancers tried to involve spectators
too, but, unfortunately, they did not show a big desire to join the dances.
Skandinieki, though in an incomplete stuff, sounded convincingly as
always, the songs were picked up very well. The group were in modern clothes
with only some traditional components.
Atštaukas propagates year by year
Many folklore ensembles from different places of Latvia
took part in this event, and some of them have performed on the stage near
Lifland's courtyard too.
Mummers from Turki
Pleasantly, that the folklore ensemble Turki mostly uses traditional
masks. Other mummers of the ball had masks of worse quality - I seen
even a factory-made pig and other kindergarden-like attributes.
Masks of Milzkalnieki were of different quality
Ilga and Andris in Pine's pub
From four up to six in Pine's pub too was some dancing music; it was played
by Ilga Reizniece and Andris Davidons - already somewhere heared partnership
of a violin, an accordion and two nice voices.
The ball finishes by dances in the Pine's pub
With a big enthusiasm have danced all the present people. After termination
of performances at other places, the pub was filled by thirsteds for
continuation, but, unfortunately, this place was closed too after a short time.
Thus, it would be nice to make the pub's dancing later next years.
It will be a beautiful ending!
Article: Laura Pīgozne, 2 January 2004
Photos: Laura Pīgozne