The annual Sea Festival (in some places known as Fishermen's Festival) took place in most coastal towns and villages throughout Latvia in the middle of July, being the second largest festival after Midsummer’s Night on the Latvian summer calendar.
Even though this festival is celebrated in coastal towns and villages throughout the country, people from all over Latvia flock to the coast during the festivities to honor fishermen for their work, the sea for its abundance of life, or just to get away for the weekend and relax by the sea or go to the many traditional open-air concerts.
During Sea Festival, the aroma of fresh smoked fish can be enjoyed in every coastal town or village, and people can take rides into open waters on fishing boats and purchase arts and crafts from local artists. Many games and competitions are also held throughout the day.
The first Sea Festival in Latvia was held in 1936 in the coastal town of Pāvilosta in western Latvia. That year, the Agriculture Minister went out on a fishing boat with local fisherman to catch flounder. The fish were then taken back to the town and smoked, which followed with a large meal and festivities for all local residents and guests. Tasty fresh fish is always available in abundance during the Sea Festival.
Every year, each coastal town and village has a different program of events taking place this weekend, offering a wide variety of activities and attractions for festival visitors.