Latvia gained its independence on 18 November 1918. Now, every year on this date, Independence Day is celebrated throughout the country.
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Latvian Independence Day marks the declaration of independence of the Republic of Latvia from Russian and German occupation. This freedom was gained on 18 November in 1918, right after the end of the First World War.
The country stayed an independent state until WWII began, which is when the forces of the Soviet Union invaded and occupied the country in 1940. Much like all the other Baltic republics, the full independence of the country from Soviet Russia did not occur until the end of the Cold War. As a result, there is another independence celebration that happens on 4 May each year, which is called the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia.
On 18 November each year, several events take place acros country. In Riga, this day is celebrated with an annual parade in the morning and then locals lay flowers at the Freedom Monument. This is an event the President of Latvia takes part in, as well as other prominent government officials.
In the afternoon, the National Armed Forces holds a parade that takes place at the 11th November Embankment. During the evening in Latvia, once the sun goes down, there are several torchlight processions, and the celebration in the capital city of Riga ends with a spectacular fireworks display over the River Daugava.